I started my second semester about two weeks ago, but going back to school means that there’s the elevated risk of contracting some cold, flu, or other illness. It’s been my goal not to get sick as much of my family has been going down hill the past couple of days. However, some things are inevitable (knock on wood). Although we can’t always get away from the person hacking up a lung sitting behind us in class or during a meeting, there are steps to take to avoid getting and spreading the cold/flu further.
During the past week I’ve been laughed at by a few people (you know who you are) by how much water I’ve been drinking. I didn’t necessarily start hydrating incessantly to avoid the flu, but for overall health. As most sources recommend, try to drink 64 ounces of fluid a day (that’s 8 – 8 oz. glasses). Here’s how I split up my water intake: 1 when I wake up, 1 before breakfast, 1 after breakfast, 1 before lunch, 1 after lunch, 1 mid-afternoon, 1 with dinner, 1 before bed. As an added bonus, I have noticed more hydrated skin during these dry winter months. Note: There is such a thing as drinking too much water!
Now for something that is preached since we were in pre-school–handwashing. Believe it or not, I am disgusted by a lot of people who don’t do it often enough (or at all, gross!). Although i may sound like a germo-phobe here, you should really be washing your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds for optimum results.
I found this topic quite interesting. Don’t touch your face–at all! This is an act that we’re constantly committing but are often unaware of. Upon doing some research, some studies have found that we touch our face 2-3 times a minute allowing bacteria access to enter our bodies through our mouth, nose, and eyes. Even more interesting, a professor of mine shared a few weeks ago that when we’re on the computer, we can touch our faces up to 15 times a minute as we’re so immersed in the screen.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- A healthy diet
- Proper sleepign patterns
- Stress reduction
- Wearing proper clothing
News reports in Minnesota state that there have been 60 flu-related deaths in teh state. The Center of Disease Control reports that influenza is widespread in all but Tennessee, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.
It is way better to be safe than sorry during flu season. Goodluck everyone!