Getting Enough Fresh Air During Winter Quarter

A new quarter is now upon us! I usually picture Winter quarter as full of rain, cold wind, and long days spent indoors. In Davis however, this is not always the case. It is not uncommon for many weekends in February and March to be warm and sunny, enticing many of us to begin spending more time outside. There are many notable benefits to spending time in the outdoors. These benefits include helping you relax by decreasing heart rate and blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, cleaning your lungs, and even increasing your energy for a sharper mind. Here are some of my favorite activities to ensure I am getting enough fresh air:

Outdoor Time Makes You a Better Person

1. Bike

This is easy to do in a place like Davis. There are so many biking trails and most roads have a big enough bike lane in order to bike in safely. This makes it easy to bike from place to place to run errands, giving us a great opportunity to breathe in fresh air and increase blood flow without having to go out of our way. Although it may be cold during the winter, don’t be afraid to bike! Just grab some gloves or a beanie and you’ll be be able to keep warm while biking.

2. Study outside

This can be as simple as choosing a table outside rather than inside at the MU or Silo. I also like to bring my books to campus on weekends and sit at the tables outside the Student Community Center to study. The campus, as well as downtown Davis, have so many opportunities to choose outdoor seating when the weather permits. This is a great way to get some studying in and be surrounded by a peaceful setting at the same time. If the sun is out, studying outside can also increase your Vitamin D levels. Increasing Vitamin D levels is important because your body must have Vitamin D to absorb calcium and support bone growth.

3. Exercise

As we all know, exercising has tons of great benefits. If many of you are like me, your New Years resolution includes exercising more! Reading about the benefits of exercise may motivate you to fulfill your resolution and exercise more. The Student Health and Counseling Services describes the benefits of exercise in detail.  Exercising at the ARC is one of the most popular ways students get in their daily work out, so if it’s too cold to be outside I would recommend taking a run on the track or even signing up for some group classes, which can be done through their website.

4.  Play a sport

Playing basketball at Dairy courts is one of my favorite ways to relax. During winter quarter it’s a great option because it is usually less crowded than the basketball courts at the ARC. The court lights stay on late, usually 1am, so if you want to get out for a quick breath of fresh air you have the option of doing so late at night. Hutchison field, located right next to Dairy courts, is a great spot to kick around a soccer ball, play flag football, and/or baseball. If it’s warm enough, I sometimes like to just lay on the grass and stare at the clouds. Going out to either of these facilities always makes me feel rejuvenated and ready to hit the books!

5. Explore the Outdoors

The Arboretum is a great place to immerse yourself in nature. Located right on campus, it’s easy to take a break between classes and take a walk or run. There are a couple different areas of the Arboretum with different groves and trails, and they are all detailed on the new campus map, under “Places of Interest.” where you can I often go to the arboretum to read the plaques about the different types of trees and flowers, it’s relaxing and keeps me knowledgeable on our California native plants!

If you have good time management skills, the UC Davis Outdoor Adventures program has some great weekend events planned this quarter to help bring out the adventurer in you! Since Davis is so close to many great parks and recreational facilities these adventures are great for exploring. For example, the program offers an Intro to Cross Country Skiing trip to Tahoe, a Tomales Bay Tour in Pt. Reyes, and Yosemite Car Camping.

Remember that your first priority is school, but making sure you get some time outdoors this Winter Quarter will be very beneficial to your health!

Have fun!

Zoe Lim

Biological Sciences

BASC Peer Adviser

 

 

 

 

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Staying Healthy During The Winter

Why is it that every winter, 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, it does not mean that sickness has to automatically follow. There are certain things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim to the common cold.

Below I listed some simple things you can do to stay healthy and feel great during the winter.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet! Even though midterms and finals are fast approaching, students should not neglect their basic needs, but instead make an even better effort to nourish their bodies. Students’ diet mostly consists of coffee, granohealth-stickynote(1)la 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. If you want to get better results, 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.

2. Sleep! With midterms and finals 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.

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.

Cold-Person-Shivering 4. Stay warm! Now is the 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!

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Adviser
Second Year, Biological Sciences