Winter Health Tips

UoEd

Winter’s a few weeks away and that can only mean one thing; no, not the holidays, we’re unfortunately speaking winter illnesses. If you’re not careful you may find yourself on the receiving end of an unwanted “gift.”

Of course, there are things you can do to protect yourself this winter to ensure that nothing stands in your way this holiday season. These tips are good ones to adopt throughout the year but even more so in winter.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

The easiest way to not get infected is to limit your exposure to disease. It may seem a bit callous but two sick people are not better than one.

Don’t share food or drink with anyone.

As with the previous tip, the name of the game is limiting your exposure to viruses and bacteria.

Get plenty of sleep.

Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Eat a well balanced diet.

A balanced diet should include a foods rich in carbohydrates and low in salts and sugar, as well as fruits and vegetables, fish, and plenty of fluids.

Take vitamin D.

With overcast skies and grey days, it’s easy to become a bit lethargic in the absence of sunlight. Vitamin D will help give you the extra boost you may be lacking in the sun’s absence.

Stay active and exercise.

It’s amazing what a little exercise will do, especially if you’re trying to work off an abundant holiday feast or two. Get your moving a little bit every day.

Get your shots.

Make sure you are up to date with your flu shots! University of Oregon often offers special days to get your flu shot. If you’ve missed it then your local doctor will be happy to provide one.

Wash your hands

Remember throughout the day with soap and hot water. If you are away from a sink then hand sanitizer will do.

If despite all these tips you find yourself feeling sick, be sure to stay home! There’s no need to pass your disease along to others. If your symptoms worsen be sure to consult with your doctor! There’s no need to spend the holiday season stuck in bed, after all!

photo credit: uoeducation 2013 09 26 COE orientation 679 via photopin (license)

10 Wellness Tips for Students

Exercise

Being a student is difficult enough without having to deal with illness and exhaustion.  In this cold season it’s more important than ever to take proper care of yourself.

1) Always Wash Your Hands

Make sure to wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season. A simple cleaning can help minimize your exposure to disease.

2) Drink 2 Liters of Water a Day

Drinking enough water is the corner stone of living a healthy lifestyle. The current recommendation is that the average person should drink at least 2 liters of water a day, so make sure you bring a bottle with you when you head out to class.

3) Get 7-9 Hours Sleep

Too often a full night’s sleep is put aside in favor of homework, socializing, or browsing the internet. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep and you’ll immediately feel the effects in the morning. It goes without saying that you should avoid all nighters whenever possible, or you’ll be feeling like a zombie the next day.

4) Don’t Eat or Drink Right Before Bed

Eating and drinking (caffeine, alcohol) will affect your internal clock and leave you with a not-so-restful sleep.  Leave at least a few hours between meals and heading to bed.

5) Find Time to Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym to work out (although it’s great if you can). Walk or bike to class instead of driving to add some easy exercise to your life. You can also play a sport on the weekend with friends or through your school’s teams.

6) Eat Three Meals a Day

The benefits of eating three meals a day for your immune system and energy levels are huge. Always start the day with a good breakfast. If you don’t have time for a sit down lunch or dinner, bring a packed meal with you so you can have something to eat throughout the day.

7) If You’re Sick, Stay Home

We know there’s pressure to go to class even if you’re unwell, but the truth is you’re doing yourself and your classmates no favors by going to class sick. You’ll end up feeling worse and potentially pass the disease onto your colleagues.

8) Get a Flu Shot

A flu shot can be the very thing that prevents weeks of discomfort and illness. Check with the University Health Center on the U of O Campus.

9) Take A Break

Stress is a huge factor in fatigue and illness, so give yourself a break now and then! Take some time to see friends, play a video game, or read.

10) When In Doubt, See a Doctor

If you’re feeling unwell and your symptoms are not improving then no one can help quite as much as a doctor can. Your campus clinic or your personal doctor will be able to give you a checkup and suggest the necessary steps towards a full recovery.