It’s not even November, but states like Indiana and Minnesota are already seeing snow. As winter settles in, so does the wheezing, sniffling and sneezing that accompanies it – resulting in hacking sounds and used tissues in residence halls, cafes and classrooms. In environments like schools, where students and faculty operate in close proximity to each other, germs have plenty of opportunities to spread. Luckily, with some basic knowledge of hygiene and nutrition, we can keep healthy this season.
1) Shower. It may seem simple enough, but skipping that daily shower can lead to health issues not only for you, but for others as well. A study from Water Research has shown that a person sheds thousands of colony-forming units of Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as Staph. Staph is a harmless bacteria that lives around our noses, mouths and genitals, but if the bacteria enters into a wound, it can cause an infection that leads to itchiness, the formation of abscesses or boils, and skin irritation. According to kidshealth.org, the bacteria is spread primarily through skin-to-skin contact but can also be spread through inanimate objects. The best way to protect yourself from Staph, or any kind of germ, is to shower regularly, and wash your hands before each meal and after you use the restroom.
2) Sleep. A good night’s rest can do the body a world of good, and it can be more beneficial than you may realize. Not only does it let your mind rest and refresh for the next day, but sleeping also allows your body and immune system to take a break. If you’re not exerting energy in other activities, your body can focus on fighting those nasty germs. So, next time you’re thinking about traipsing outside to find a party or just heading downtown for a late night snack, you may want to re-think your options. The below freezing temperatures do not go well with those platforms and micro dress anyway.
3) Drink. And before you get too excited, drink water. While you may think that dehydration is only something that happens in the hot, humid months of summer, that is far from the truth. The cold, harsh wind and air all do their part to dry out our skin and extract moisture. Not only will drinking plenty of fluids keep your body functioning as it should, it will also help prevent some of that dry winter skin.
4) Exercise. It may be easier to work out in the summer, but keeping your body fit in the cold months is just as important as it is in the warm ones. Bracing the freezing outdoors towards the new fitness center might not seem appealing, but with the addition of the new machines and rooms there’s much more room for activities to keep your body happy, healthy and on that head start to a Spring Break body.
While you may be showering regularly, sleeping, drinking and exercising like you should, sometimes a cold is inevitable. So, what do you do if you do get sick? First of all, make sure you’re doing your part to prevent the spread of sickly germs. Stephens College is proud to have their own, on-campus doctor, Dr. Kathy Doisy. Her office is located in the health services building behind Stamper and is open Monday through Friday. It is a free appointment, and she will do what she can to make sure you get the tests, shots and medicine you need to make a quick and full recovery. I encourage everyone to bundle up, take notice of these tips, and hopefully we can stop campus-wide illnesses before they start.
Stay warm, Susies!
Story by freshman Allison Langley