Staying Healthy During Flu Season
If you’re like me and live on a college campus, you may be freaking out about the flu that everyone seems to be coming down with. Between living in a dorm with hundreds of other students, hanging out in common places, going to the gym, and eating in the dining halls, there are plenty of opportunities for us all to infect one another. But obviously nobody wants to be sick! So, here are some tips on staying healthy even if it seems everyone around you has come down with the plague (plus some tips if you are said person with the plague):
Get your Vitamin C! Eat oranges and strawberries and kale! You can find a list of food products with the most Vitamin C here. Vitamin C not only helps your body fight off flu and cold symptoms, but also helps improve a stressed immune system.
Get your rest. Make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night- your body needs sleep to recover and to make sure it has enough energy to fight off any germs that come its way.
Hit the gym. Working out helps build a strong immune system (but continue reading to learn when exercise is not beneficial).
Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Your hands are constantly touching surfaces, people, and basically hundreds of other things slathered with germs. Washing your hands and keeping them away from your face helps protect you from these lil invaders!
Eat those superfoods. They are called superfoods for a reason, after all! Superfoods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients that help you stay energized and healthy.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I can’t stress this one enough. Drink your liquids! Remember that exercising and consuming caffeine dehydrates you, so if this is you, drink extra water.
When you have the flu:
Rest. This is when you skip classes, skip the gym, and stay in bed watching movies and sleeping all day. Not only does this help you recover, but also keeps the flu away from everyone else!
Drink water. When you’ve been throwing up or having diarrhea, your body gets extremely dehydrated. So, therefore, drink all the water.
Electrolytes. You also need your electrolytes after coming down with the flu, so drink some juice or other rehydration solutions, which your doctor can recommend.
Don’t exercise! This one is always the most difficult for me to follow. The “scientific” rule to go by is if your symptoms are from your neck up, you are good to exercise, but if they are from neck down, stay in (the exception being if you have a fever). But, listen to your body- if you have a really bad headache or no energy whatsoever, it probably is your body telling you to stay in! Plus, working out dehydrates you, which can be really bad when you aren’t feeling your best physically.
On a personal note, my first instinct every morning is to jump out of bed and hit the gym. So when I’m sick, I often find myself upset and stressed because I have to sit in bed. And this can lead to me beating myself up and worrying about my progress. But, ultimately, I have to keep in mind that rest is what is best for me during this period. If I don’t rest, I will take even longer to recover. Ultimately, this means that I won’t even have a great gym session because I won’t be at my best, and I could injure myself! But if I give myself time to fully recover, then I’ll be back at my usual in no time!
The flu may be going around, but if you take the necessary precautions and remember to take care of yourself, you may be able to avoid it! Good luck out there, everyone!
What are your tips & tricks to avoiding getting sick? What do you do to recover when you are sick?