Five Ways to Avoid the Common Cold During College

This week you have two exams, three papers, two meetings on Tuesday, a social commitment on Thursday and don’t forget to apply to internships in your spare time. College is a busy time. Not to mention that you are living in tight quarters with people in a dorm or apartment.

This combination of factors often leads to the dreaded common cold. There is nothing worse than stifling coughs or constantly blowing your nose through an hour-long class. Consider these tips in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college.

1. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial to healthy living. According to U.S. News & World Report, determining the bare minimum water requirement per day is simple. Divide your weight in half and that is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking each day — at the minimum.

2. Drink tea

Not only will drinking tea keep you hydrated (even with the caffeine), but tea is also full of antioxidants that will keep your body healthy. Once you feel a cold coming on, drink a few cups of tea throughout the day. The hot beverage with break down mucus and allow you to breathe easier.

There are many different types of tea, all with different benefits. Check out this Real Simple article to read about black, green, white and even herbal tea benefits.

Tea

3. Exercise and stretch for 10 minutes before bed every night

Exercising a little each day will reduce stress and give you a healthier lifestyle. Our bodies were not meant to sit at desks all day. If you do not have an hour of free time to hit the gym, then do a few exercises right before bed  or right when you wake up in the morning.

Planks, squats, push-ups, and crunches can be done right in your tiny dorm room. Need ideas? Check out these 25 exercises you can do from your home at ACE Fitness.

4. Wash your hands

In between classes, before bed, every time you leave the dorm; wash your hands as much as you can! College campuses have a lot of people in a small area. A shared bathroom becomes a soaking ground for germs so keep a stock of lysol wipes nearby at all times.

During the cold and flu season it is so important to be cognizant of hand washing. Here is a little incentive: a microbiologist from University of Arizona found that 70%-80% of the shopping carts tested nationwide had E. coli on the handles. That same microbiologist found that office desks have 400 times more germs than a public toilet seat.

5. Sleep!

Believe it or not, it is possible to get at least eight hours of sleep per night in college. Manage your time accordingly and prioritize sleep. Not only will you perform better the following day, but your body will have enough time to rest and fight off viruses.

If you still aren’t convinced that five hours a sleep per night is not enough, The New York Times published that “in driving tests, sleep-deprived people perform as if drunk, and no amount of caffeine or cold air can negate the ill effects.”

Follow these tips for a healthier semester!

Hilary Burns

HilaryManaging Editor

Hilary Burns is a senior at Wake Forest University from Cape Cod, Mass. Hilary has a passion for storytelling and has been published in multiple national publications including USA TODAY, Huffington Post and USAirways Magazine. She hopes to pursue a career in the exciting journalism industry after graduation in May 2014. When she isn’t writing or editing, Hilary is in a yoga class or planning a future dream trip to Europe.

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