Ways to stay well this winter

By Maddie Smith

With the semester coming into full swing and the winter season still in sight, it is important to stay healthy for yourself as well as everyone around you. When life becomes stressful, it can be easy to neglect some preventative health measures, especially in the winter. But with these tips, you can fight back illness all year round!

  1. Wash your hands
    This one may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s nothing like a good old soap-and-water treatment. Germs are literally everywhere, so washing your hands frequently will help protect you from unwanted infections and viruses.
  2. Bundle up
    As the temperatures continue to drop, it is so important to stay warm and protect your body from the frigid wind chills. Wear a warm coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and even some layers if you still aren’t warm enough. These clothing items will not only keep you warm, but they will protect you from frostbite and getting a cold.
  3. Stay hydrated
    Drinking plenty of water is essential to staying healthy in every season. Your body needs the proper amount of water to be able to perform daily functions, such as digestion, blood circulation, oxygen delivery, and body temperature regulation. Therefore, if your water intake is lacking, your body is more prone to illness if its systems aren’t running at maximum efficiency.
  4. Be active
    Exercising has an impressive list of benefits for the body, including cardiovascular health, weight loss/maintenance, bone and muscle health, and improved sleeping habits. The minimum exercise guidelines are 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and 2 days of resistance training per week. If you follow or exceed these guidelines, your body will be healthier and stronger, making it easier to prevent, fight off, or recover from illnesses.
  5. Eat healthy foods
    Again, getting your nutrients through whole foods is important throughout the whole year, but it is especially important when avoiding illnesses. Whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and fiber help strengthen the immune system, which is responsible for defending the body from infections or viruses. Though healthy foods are important, it is impossible to be perfect all the time, so don’t worry about sneaking in that cookie after dinner. Moderation is key!
  6. Sleep
    Though it may be difficult for college students to fit in the ideal eight hours of sleep per night, it is important to give your body the rest it needs. Sleeping allows the body to reset itself and initiates the healing process. With homework, practices, meetings, and work, I know it can be hard to make time for a proper night’s sleep, but it definitely pays off in the long run.

AANMC. (2020, January 23). Nine Tips to Stay Healthy During the Winter. AANMC. https://aanmc.org/featured-articles/nine-tips-stay-healthy-winter/

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