Sniffles & Snuggles

Yup, it’s about that time of the year again! As much as we all love Fall, and the beautiful changes it brings in our nature, the weather is definitely one thing I personally could live without.

Fall tends to serve as the perfect, middle phase between Summer and Winter, but we’ve seen a drastic shift in our normal weather patterns. We already know Maryland, in itself, can be a little bipolar in terms of it’s weather, but how can we prepare for such unbearable temperatures?

Here’s a few tips that will keep you warm, and well during this Fall season.

1. WASH YOUR HANDS 
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First and foremost, yes, not washing your hands is just nasty! But more importantly, washing your hands eliminates germs and viruses from your skin. As I was always told, you need to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to thoroughly remove the germs on your hands. Don’t forget to get under your nails too!

2. EAT RIGHT! 

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There’s this big myth that taking an excessive amount of vitamins can prevent colds. False. Doctors suggest eating foods that contain phytochemicals. The prefix “phyto” means plants, and the natural chemicals in them give the vitamins in food a “supercharged boost”. So put away the vitamin pill and eat dark green, red, and yellow veggies and fruits. Fluids are definitely important, so instead of a soda grab an orange juice!

3. GET AN ADEQUATE AMOUNT OF SLEEP!

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Sleep is for the weak? No, sleep is for the SMART! As you might have heard, not getting enough sleep has been linked to a long list of several mental, and physical issues, including those dealing with the immune system. Studies have shown that when one is sleep deprived, T-Cells are decreased, which are pivotal in eliminating the toxins in our bodies. Doctors say that college students should get well over 8 hours of sleep! That might seem impossible when you have a 20 page research paper to complete, but try to get as close to eight hours as you can!

4. REDUCE STRESS! 

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Doctors have proven that there is a direct relationship between stress and ones health. We are all in college, and at one or probably more than one point in time, we have felt overwhelmed by our responsibilities.

Bear with me for this part….

During stressful situations, cortisol is released by the adrenal glands. This increase in cortisol threatens the immune system, ultimately lowers inflammation, which in the end decreases ones ability to free up energy to deal with potential toxins. Researchers have found that individuals who were considered “stressed” become resistant to the effects of cortisol, and their bodies cannot control the inflammatory response it brings. In the end, they are more likely to get sick when exposed to the cold virus.

All in all, less stress = less sick!

5. IF YOU’RE SICK, STAY AWAY!

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Nothing’s worse than someone sick, still interacting with other people, contaminating them. Don’t be that guy, coughing/sneezing up a storm simply interrupting the rest of the class. If you can, try to rest, and take the time away from others to regain your strength back. Take the day off, visit our Health Center and get the medicine you might need to recuperate. Don’t forget your doctors note though, so you aren’t penalized for your absence. 🙂

-Joshua Reeves

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