Your college years can be very fulfilling as well as very demanding. It can be very easy to catch colds and viruses when you are a student due to the amount of stress the body has to deal with. There are deadlines to meet, exams to prepare for and you will no doubt have a very hectic social life to balance with these primary commitments.
Looking after your personal health is probably the last thing you want to think about when you are very busy but if you neglect your health, you may end up falling prey to illness which may cause you to fall behind with your classes.
*I personally disagree with the need for a vaccination against swine flu. If you take the right precautions in regards to your health, you should not need to be immunised.
Here are some tips that should help you to stay fit and healthy while living in a college dorm:
*Wash your hands:
Bacterial infections and the Swine flu virus, can be easily spread onto surfaces if you do not wash your hands regularly. By washing your hands, you reduce the chance of spreading germs elsewhere. In order to prevent infection, everyone needs to participate and take responsibility for themselves while living in shared halls. When it comes to preventing flu and infections, everyone should be accountable for their personal hygiene and cleanliness as this will also affect the health of other students living in the dorm.
*Clean student halls regularly:
Student halls need to be kept clean on a regular basis in order to reduce the chances of catching viruses and infections. Hygiene within kitchen and communal areas within college halls must be looked after properly as these are the areas that will be used most often.
If you see a bin that is overflowing with rubbish, empty it! Don’t rely on other people to do it for you when you can do it yourself. It may be worth organising a cleaning rota between you and your friends and assess what needs to be cleaned and how frequently it should be carried out.
*Get enough sleep at night and rest if you feel tired:
Student life is not always conducive to getting enough sleep! A lack of sleep will leave you feeling very tired, drained and generally unable to cope with the demands of the next day. At this point, you are most likely to become ill as your body will be struggling to deal with your usual workload as well as having to deal with the additional pressure of keeping you awake!
Having too many late nights will push your body beyond its coping ability and you may find yourself becoming ill as a consequence. Getting enough sleep at night is one of the most natural ways to look after your health. Sleep will boost your immune system and the possibility of catching a cold or a virus, will diminish in certainty.
*Exercise and Diet:
Regular exercise can help to boost your immune system. It is important to remember to exercise in moderation as over-exertion may put too much strain on the body. Running can be very good for increasing stamina but it can also be quite strenuous for the joints. If you don’t want to tire yourself out too much, it may be more worthwhile to take up a gentler aerobic activity such as Yoga or Tai Chi instead.
Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet so your immune system can be effectively supported. If you are working very hard, you may need a supplement of Vitamin C or Echinacea which can give your immune system an extra boost when you need it.
Try to reduce your caffeine intake as it may cause side effects such as insomnia, irritability and anxiety if taken in large quantities. Sugar is known to depress the immune system and it should also be avoided if you are fighting an infection.