It seems that when one person gets the flu at FSU, everyone else has it within the next week or so. The flu can be a terrible experience with symptoms like fevers, coughs, body aches, runny nose, and even vomiting. If your immune system is even the slightest bit weak, you’re at risk for getting the flu and becoming bedridden for days. These are my favorite tips for staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system while at Florida State.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to have health benefits not only externally, but also internally. Any sort of regular physical activity will help keep bacteria out of your lungs, maintain low blood pressure, and preventing diabetes. Not to mention, exercise is also great for relieving stress and having stable mental health. Try going for a run at Cascade’s Park or lifting weights at the Leach for half an hour every day, or every other day. The Leach also offers trainer-led workout classes that are free for students, and are only about an hour or so long. Head to the Campus Rec app to schedule a quick, intense workout. Incorporating exercise like this into your routine will be enough to strengthen your immune system, keep your body staying healthy, and lower your chances of getting the flu.
Wash your hands
Going off of that, it’s important to wash your hands after you exercise to ensure that any sweat or germs won’t infect you. Washing your hands is one of the most important tips for staying healthy and avoiding the flu. If you workout in a gym facility, try to clean machines before and after you use them, as well as grab an extra wipe to clean your phone. Large gyms like the Leach can be filled with germs and illnesses spreading from everyone using the same machines, so try to be extra careful while spending time here. Take advantage of the sanitary wipes here to clean machines before and after using them, especially during flu season at a larget school like FSU. And after your workout, it’s especially important to sanitize your hands before a meal so that your food will be free of any germs that were on your hands previously. With that being said, it’s important to wash your hands regularly to avoid any illnesses going around, especially if it’s flu season.
Eat a balanced diet
A strong and healthy immune system is built over time and requires a constant and balanced diet. In order to do this, try incorporating vegetables into every meal, even if it’s only a small amount. Try to consider everything before you eat, and how it will affect your body in the long run. Every small decision ultimately has an effect on your energy levels, skin, physical appearances, and immune system. Maintaining a strong immune system at a large school like FSU requires dedication to making good choices when you eat. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate loads of fruits and vegetables into your diet within only a single meal. Or, just try to skip a trip to Chick Fil A, and opt for a pub-sub instead. As long as you are conscious of your eating choices and balance your meals, your immune system should be reliable enough for when the flu season creeps up on you.
Drink plenty of water
Water is always the best choice when it comes to beverage choices- it flushes out toxins, keeps you hydrated, and removes toxins to strengthen your immune system. In contrast, drinking sugary drinks can break down your immune system and leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Sugary sodas and caffeinated drinks also weaken your muscles and will dehydrate your body. With that being said, try to drink plenty of water each day to keep your body staying healthy and your organs flushed and your immune system strong. I try to always leave the house with my reusable water bottle, to ensure that I have a physical reminder to keep my body hydrated. When living in the Tallahassee heat, you may want to opt for nice, ice-cold water anyways. But sometimes we do need a cup of coffee, which is ok as long as you drink a glass of water before and after the coffee.
Get your flu shot
The best way tip for staying healthy and avoiding the flu is the most obvious solution- which is getting a flu shot. Flu shots are typically free at your local pharmacy and are also offered at the Florida State Health and Wellness Center. Typically you can walk in either clinic and request a flu shot, without having to make an appointment. If you have a feeling that flu season is coming or even know just a few people with the flu, I would go ahead and get a flu shot as soon as possible. Because once you have the flu, a shot will not do much for your pains except prevent it from happening again. There are more benefits than risks that come with getting a flu shot, so take five minutes from your day and protect your body from weeks of pain and suffering that come with the flu.
Take care of yourself
One of the best ways to strengthen your immune system while at a large school like FSU, is to take care of yourself. The stress and social obligations that come with being in college can make self-care seem impossible and a waste of time, but it is neither. Getting adequate amounts of sleep each night is key to building a strong immune system and coping with busy days. Be sure to plan out your day and learn to manage your time wisely so that your mind and body have enough time to rest for another busy day ahead. And just as important as getting enough sleep, is learning to control your stress. It’s easy to let stress overcome you in college, but too much can lead to being detrimental to your health. Be sure to find outlets that you enjoy doing to manage your stress and keep you protected from getting the flu.