As winter is slowly approaching, it seems as though everyone gets attacked with the sniffles or has some sort of cold. Is it the change of weather or the failure to take care of your body? Or is it both? Even though cold weather arrives, sickness does not have to automatically follow. There are certain things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim to the common cold.
Below are some simple things you can do to stay healthy and feel great during the winter:
1. Sleep! With midterms right around the corner, students tend to get less and less sleep. However, lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching colds and decreasing your school performance. Think of sleep as a way to recharge your internal battery. Similar to a cell phone battery, as soon as you see the warning sign, you quickly locate a charger to prevent the phone from dying; why are we not doing the same with our bodies? Are they not more valuable than a cell phone? When you feel that your internal battery is decreasing make sure to get rest or check out one of the many nap locations Davis offers.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet!
Students’ diet mostly consists of coffee, granola bars, or something from the nearby vending machine that will provide quick energy to get throughout the day. Even though this is the norm, it is not always the healthiest option. Students should not neglect their basic needs, but instead make an even better effort to nourish their bodies. If you want to get better results in your academics, it is scientifically proven that a healthy diet is necessary. Eating foods that are high in the essential vitamins and minerals will help keep your immune system strong. Some examples of this will be Vitamin C and Zinc so make sure to include fruit, veggies, plenty of lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and nuts in your diet. A very useful tool to purchase all your fruits and veggies in Davis is the fruit and veggie map. Also, the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) offer nutrition and cooking classes at no cost to students. These classes encourage students to make their own meals and are meant to provide the student with cooking skills and nutrition education.
3. Exercise Regularly! As students, our lives revolve around midterms, papers, quizzes, homework, and the list goes on. Can you imagine trying to fit in a workout when you feel like you do not have enough time for all the assignments that are due? But did you know that exercise increases memorization, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and helps your immune system fight simple infections such as the common cold or flu. Wow! That should be more than enough reasons why you should exercise. During a study break, visit the gym at the ARC or you could do simple exercises in your own room. If I have been studying for a while and start to get restless, I’ll take a walk around the building or practice my handstands. The little exercise break gives my brain a rest and then I can continue to study effectively.
4. Stay warm! Even though it still feels warm outside, the weather is changing and cold season is near. In a few weeks, it will be time to wear all those warm scarves and sweaters that were tucked away all summer! Since the temperature is dropping, it is more important than ever to bundle up. Temperatures drop quickly in Davis, so even though it may be warm during the day, at night it may be freezing. So always make sure to bring a jacket just in case.
Remember, even though cold weather is approaching it is still important to take care your body physically and mentally. Choose to stay healthy because by doing this, you and your body will benefit and you will get great results in return! Keep in mind, taking care of your body is very important, especially since you only have one!
BASC Peer Adviser
Fifth Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Religious Studies Double Major