Catch soap and sanitizer, not colds

Andre Spruell , Opinion Co- Editor

Here are some simple ways to avoid getting sick as the weather gets cooler.

Wash your hands: It seems very simple but according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented. In order to properly wash your hands, you must lather up your hands with soap and thoroughly wash your hands under warm water for about 30 seconds.

Carry around hand sanitizer: Sometimes people are so busy that throughout the day, they may not be able to reach a bathroom to constantly wash their hands. No worries, having a personal bottle of hand sanitizer is a great way to avoid getting sick in the winter times. The best part of these little hand sanitizer bottles is that you can find one at your local pharmacy or grocery store for less than a dollar.

Sneeze into your elbow: This another easy step people can take but for some reason find it difficult to do. The popular way of sneezing is to sneeze into your hands by cupping them. When someone sneezes into their hands, even if they sanitize after, they are spreading more of their germs which can lead to others getting sick, which is why sneezing into the elbow is the best way to not spread germs after a sneeze.

Wear proper clothing: Even though everyone loves summer and refuse to let it go, it is hard for people to grasp that and decide to wear shorts when it is less than 50 degrees out. It is better to wear the right amount of clothing depending on how cold it is outside than not wearing the proper clothing in order to look “cute.’

Eating and being hydrated: This is a factor that not many people discuss but is the most important factor all year round, especially in the winter. Having a proper balance of eating three meals a day and being hydrated through water and juices ensures that you will be healthy. On the other hand, if one or both factors are not treated right, then your immune system will begin to weaken, making you even more vulnerable to get sick when being outside in the cold because your body is not fully ready for the cold.

Stress less: Out of all the items on the list, this is probably the most difficult for college students because stress is something many college students experience daily. According to Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, a psychologist at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, he said, “if stress is chronic every day, pumping out hormones without any escaping or fighting, then it’s not good for your immune system.” In other words, stressing less means a healthier immune system which means a healthier you.

Hopefully by following these simple steps you increase your chances significantly of not getting sick. These steps do not ensure that you won’t get a sick because one little germ or bacterium can ruin that. Staying healthy in the winter is one of the biggest battles students in the northeast must deal with so good luck in your battle and hopefully you don’t fall victim to a serious “sick bug.”