16 October 2013

Life Hacks on Not Getting Sick

When the weather gets colder, I get sick.

For the past few years, it seems like it's been inevitable. I go to a huge university with 30,000+ people, and between door handles, people coughing on me, and going out regularly, it seems impossible to stay healthy. But last year, I figured out a few tactics to avoid getting sick, even during the germiest and coldest of winters.

We all know the obvious things we're supposed to do:
  • Sleep a lot
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Eat a clean diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't touch your face
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often
  • Get a flu shot
  • Don't touch door handles
  • Don't share food, drinks, etc.
But I know I can't always sleep eight hours a night, and sometimes you just have to stuff your face with cupcakes and PSLs. There are some ways to avoid getting sick that you might not have though of yet, and I'm here to tell you what they are.
Wet Ones. Seriously, these things saved me. Carry a travel-sized pack of Wet Ones around with you (you can buy them at Target for about $1) and wipe your phone, laptop, and hands down regularly. I do this every few hours when I'm at school. You don't realize how much bacteria your phone and keyboard pick up every day--it's pretty disgusting.

Take your vitamins. I have a huge jar of gummy bear multivitamins that I take daily, but here are a few more that are important for immunity:
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C (so important!)
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B
I also like to take one to two packets of Emergen-C with a glass of water daily for an extra boost of Vitamin C. Hint: It tastes a lot better over ice.

Wheatgrass shots. You might think wheatgrass is for hippie health freaks, but I used it on the reg last semester and definitely saw the benefits. I took two shots of wheatgrass every two to three days, and I've never felt better. It has great immune benefits and gives you an extra energy boost.

Gargle with warm saltwater every night. It sounds silly, but in a 2005 study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, subjects that regularly gargled with saltwater over a 60-day period showed a 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory tract infections. This can also be effective in fighting off a cold when you feel it coming on.

Drink (alcohol) in moderation. This may be tougher for some of us than others, especially college students, but wild nights of partying might be the cause of sickness. If you do go out a lot, be sure to make up for it by sleeping in the next day. And take it easy whenever possible.

Stay healthy, my friends! xo