Column: Stay healthy during the cold, flu season

Maria Baldwin, Assistant Sports Editor

With the cold and flu season still in full swing, I thought I would take it upon myself to make it through the season cold -free to enjoy some beautiful spring break weather completely healthy.

Little did I know, however, that there are some every day habits you can acquire that will ensure that you make it out of the season without sniffling.

I found a website called, where they gave twenty ways to prevent a cold. Here are just a few that I found that were the most interesting and easy to adapt to.

Drinking alcohol downgrades sleep quality and interferes with deep sleep, called REM sleep that is the most restorative part of sleep. Therefore, students who engage in more partying and less sleeping and rest on the weekends are more likely to get a cold because they aren’t getting the quality sleep that they need, and it’s wearing their bodies down.

By ditching the alcohol and getting more sleep, drinking more tea with lemon and honey, for example, can prevent a cold because the steam aids in breathing while the lemon thins mucus and the honey works as an antibacterial to fight off bad germs.

Another way to ward off a cold can be in your everyday diet. Research shows that many people’s diets are too low in protein, which can deplete the immune system. Be sure to eat protein-rich foods throughout the day to prevent this from happening. Foods such as fish, eggs, yogurt and meat are all protein powerhouses.

Also, try to incorporate vitamin C into your diet if at all possible. I always chug Emergen-C whenever I start to feel the symptoms coming on, and it usually does the trick! Halls cough drops even make vitamin C levels drop when you can take them whenever you feel the symptoms coming on. Either way, try to go crazy on the orange juice. Vitamin C does wonders!

There are even easier ways than those to prevent a cold, and even the way you breathe can make all the difference!
Studies show that if you focus on breathing out when walking past someone coughing or sneezing and wait ten steps away from them before you breathe in, you will be less likely to take in the germs from them. Preventing a cold is as easy as breathing differently!

The cold months may prohibit your gym usage, but cold season is especially the time to want to be in the gym.
Running can either make you feel stronger or weaker, but sweating out the day’s toxins can prevent the germs from causing you to have a cold. Also, the happy feeling you get from working out can make you feel better in the meantime.

However, be sure to wash off equipment in the gym before you use it! Imagine all the sweat and bacteria that live on them, especially from a person who sweat out their cold-causing bacteria. Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect.

And while we are on that subject, I advise students to carry sanitation spray or wipes with them to class and wipe down their desks before they touch them.

The other day I was in class and I read something someone had written on the desk, and it made me cringe.
It said, “here’s proof that these desks never get washed, wash your hands people!” The little note was dated in September of last year.

I hope these little tips helped you as much as they helped me! With midterms this week and spring break around the corner, it’s essential to be healthy to study efficiently, and to relax and have fun without worrying about a cold!

Maria Baldwin is a sophomore mass communications and public relations major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].