Staying well during the polar vortex


By Abigail Hollander

It’s that time of the year again: when the temperature has dropped, classes seem more demanding than ever, and people’s immune systems are falling subject to colds, the flu and viruses.

In order to avoid taking a trip to Health Services, despite the allure of their therapy dogs, here are some tips to help you stay warm and illness-free this winter!

First of all, you must bundle up. I know it was cool in middle school not to wear your hat at recess, but in subzero temperatures, it is absolutely necessary to invest in a warm hat, a large scarf and some gloves.

Walking across campus is beginning to feel like trudging through the tundraThus, practicality overrules style, and in order to stay healthy, you must dress appropriately for the weather.

Drink lots of fluids. In order to keep your immune system up and running, drink tons of water or drinks with electrolytes to remain hydrated and focused in your classes.

Herbal teas are also great to help boost your immune system; I prefer green tea, while others such as peppermint, lemon and ginger have their benefits as well.

Although college students rely heavily on coffee to get them through the day, the popular drink dehydrates your body.

Heavily caffeinated beverages will keep you awake, but they ultimately may be detrimental to your immune system if you do not combat their effects with a few cups of water.

It is also important to remain active. Not only is physical activity necessary to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but you could also sweat out the germs that are making you feel so down.

That being said, I would not exercise if you have flu-like symptoms, such as fever or nausea.

To clear a head cold, getting your heart rate up may be beneficial, but prepare to be exhausted.

Remember to rehydrate after exercising to receive the maximum benefits.

Healthy eating is the source of a healthy and illness-free lifestyle.

Next time you are at the dining hall, fill up your plate and make it colorful.

That means that you should eat an appropriate amount of protein, cut down on the carbohydrates and build a nice salad.

Eat your vegetables, and take a piece of fruit with you. Bananas are nice sources of potassium, oranges are great sources of vitamin C and mom always said, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

All of these healthy choices are available to you at the dining halls; it is just a question of educating yourself on the food you consume.

Sleep is the most vital thing you can do in order to avoid illness.

Getting eight hours of sleep may seem daunting as midterms are approaching, but you must make time for yourself.

Naps are often a good way to catch up on sleep after a few restless nights.

As far as supplements go, EmergenC and Airborne are popular choices.

A daily multivitamin also may help you to maintain a healthy immune system.

All in all, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. All of these elements work together to strengthen your immune system.

Thus, in order to remain healthy, you must work to maintain a strict schedule.

That includes what you eat, how you exercise, how you dress, and how long you sleep.

If you are sick for an extended period of time, it is also important that you visit the Wicker Wellness Center to consult with the health services professionals regarding your symptoms.

So, bundle up and best of luck!


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