How To: avoid getting sick
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
It’s coming. The coughing, the sneezing, the watery eyes and the endless tissues. Your roommate has it: her boyfriend has it, your professor has it and that girl who sits behind you has it.
The common cold.
Around this time of year students start to get sick with the common cold, the flu and everything in between.
You don’t have to let it take you as well. Many people have their own remedies: only drinking orange juice for two days, digesting an entire bag of cough drops or eating a bowl filled with rice, salt and butter.
Besides simply locking yourself in your room and not coming out until the germs are gone, here are some simple and easy tips that are proven to help you avoid catching that nasty cold going around.
Get some sleep.
It’s important for your immune system to be rested so it’s able to produce more disease-fighting white blood cells. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. The more you sleep, the more likely it is you won’t get sick.
One study, done by the Archives of Internal Medicine, kept track of the sleep habits of 153 men and women for two weeks, while exposing them to a cold virus. Those who slept less than an average of seven hours per night were three times more likely to get sick than those who slept eight or more hours per night.
Wash your hands and don’t touch your face or mouth.
Your mom has been telling you for years to wash your hands when you are done playing outside, before you sit down for dinner and after you go to the bathroom.
Moms always know best.
You get sick because germs and bacteria find a way into your body. Most of the germs come from the things we touch every day, like the computers in Capen, the elevator buttons or the ketchup dispenser at Putnam’s. When you wash your hands with soap, you scrub away most of the germs – but not all. Avoid touching your mouth or face, and any areas where the germs will be permitted into the body.
As hard as this is to do as the weekend approaches, alcohol weakens your immune system. When you get drunk, the liquid gets absorbed through your stomach and heads toward your blood stream; this weakens your white blood cell count.
“[Alcohol] will weaken your immune system,” according to an article on newscientist.com. “Additionally, the consumption of alcohol impairs the function of B-lymphocytes, which produce antibodies in the blood. These antibodies ward off viruses and other diseases that may attack the body.”
Alcohol will also combine with red blood cells, causing “blood sludging,” the process of clumping red blood cells together causing the flow of oxygen to the vital organs to decrease, according to livestrong.com.
We all know the sound of water bubbling deep in your throat is not the most attractive sound, but it could seriously help kill germs. Gargling with warm salt water helps to kill germs in your throat. It also works to break up any mucus that drips into your throat, according to nativeremedies.com.
Drink some tea.
Herbal tea contains many nutrients and vitamins that will boost your immune system. If you drink three to six cups of tea per day, your body will be equipped to fight off diseases, according to a study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have proved black and green tea can neutralize germs and deactivate viruses in the mouth because of their high vitamin and antioxidant content. Green tea contains epigallocatechin (EGCG), which was found to be 25 to 100 times more effective than antioxidant vitamins C and E, according to Dr. Josephs Mercola, an osteopathic physician.
With flu season approaching and the common cold stalking the campus, it’s important to stay healthy. Make sure you are eating right and following these simple tips to avoid becoming another victim of the common cold.