My freshman year of college, I was sick basically all the time. During my first semester, I was sick six or seven times with various colds and flus. I hate skipping class, so I always tried not to miss even when I felt like I was close to death. I even tried to work out when I had a cold a couple of times, which only succeeded in making my health worse.
So far this year I’ve only been sick once (knock on wood), which is really impressive for me. Here are the some of the tips I’ve used to avoid getting sick:
- Sleep. This was the biggest reason why I was feeling ill for half the year. My health was bad especially during my first semester when I had an eight a.m. class everyday and wouldn’t go to bed until it was late. I’ve always had trouble sleeping, but since my freshman year I’ve learned how to force myself to go to bed at a decent time.
- Give your body a break. Don’t be an idiot like I was and go to the gym even when you have a cold. I always figured if I felt good enough to go to class, then I could muster up the energy to go work out. No. Don’t do this. You will just end up sicker for longer.
- Don’t eat like crap. I generally eat pretty healthy so this hasn’t been a big issue for me in the past but I know it’s an issue for a lot of other people. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Your diet has a lot to do with how you feel and how much energy you have each day, so be smart about what you’re putting in your body.
- Take vitamins. This year I’ve started to consistently take vitamins everyday and I’ve been sick less, so it must be helping somehow. Vitamins help fill a nutrition gap, especially if you’re like me and have some nutritional deficiencies.
- Dress warm when it’s cold outside. For the longest time, I thought this was a myth and that being cold had nothing to do with actually catching one. But apparently this is true, because it happened to me. So I guess wearing that puffy coat in the winter does more than keep you warm.
- Wash your hands more. Don’t just do this for yourself. Do this for the good of society.
- Wipe down your mat at the gym before using it. You might always wipe your mat down after using it at the gym, but the person before you might not have.
- Don’t go out when you’re not feeling good. You’ll end up feeling more horrible the next morning.
- Don’t keep going to class or extracurriculars if you really don’t feel good. If you can barely get yourself out of bed, that’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t be getting out of bed. And being hung over doesn’t count.
- Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle that other people have been using. This is probably one of the easiest ways to get sick, especially if someone else has a cold.
Sometimes getting sick is unavoidable, but getting sick six times in the same semester is abnormal. Don’t be like me and stay healthy.