Stay healthy during flu season

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Haley Helfer--Do more than just getting your flu shot.

This decade has dealt with many health scares: bird flu, mad cow disease, the West Nile virus and, most recent of all of them, the swine flu. Having to forego hamburgers or buy bulk cases of mosquito repellent in order to avoid disease can still be easily conjured up memories and cause people to wonder, “What animal will we will have to avoid next?”

In reality, one is much more likely to catch the old-fashioned flu rather than some exotic, short-term virus.

According to the Center for Disease Control, between 5 to 20 percent of Americans contract the flu each year and over 200,000 of them are hospitalized due to flu-related symptoms. What does this mean for the students of California Baptist University? If they are to catch this rampant illness, they are likely to miss their midterms, skip their sports games, or call in sick for work shifts. Midnight runs to get doughnuts will be replaced with frequent visits to the bathroom and lots of used tissues. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat the evil attacker, named “influenza”. By heeding the following advice, which consists of no-brainers and new techniques, you will be able to keep fresh until finals and stay jolly until the

•Your doctor, parents and second grade teacher all agree, the best way to stay healthy is to continually wash your hands. Better yet, keep a small bottle of anti-bacterial gel with you at all times. It is the perfect on-the-go health preventer.

•Keep a regular sleep schedule. Everyone knows that college, like New York, is a place that never sleeps. Nevertheless, the body can never truly make up for lost sleep, which will directly impact the effectiveness of your immune system. So watch Glee online tomorrow and go to bed earlier.

•Consider getting a hepa air filter for your dorm or apartment. These quiet, but mighty, machines suck 99% of all airborne particles out of the air, seriously reducing a virus getting passed on to you. However, these can get a little pricey, so think about splitting the cost with your roommate(s).

•Keep your dorm room or apartment clean. Old cereal bowls, dusty counter tops and dirty floors are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

•Drink, drink, drink. Water is the absolute best thing for your body, so a minimum of eight ounces a day is recommended. Also, hot liquids like tea, soup or even coffee are shown to help push a virus from the mouth to the viral-killing stomach before you actually get sick. Hint: this is a great excuse to continue your Starbucks latte addiction.

•Get a flu shot. This, most obvious, solution is fast, simple and pretty effective. For those of you who have an aversion to shots, there is a nasal spray version of the medication.

•Keep active. Whether that means taking a walk around campus after class or joining a flag football team, just make sure you’re moving. Your immune system will thank you.

•Make vitamin-C your new best friend. This super-nutrient is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but you will most likely not obtain all you need in diet alone. Pills, supplements and even those Flinstones chewable gummies will work. Also, when you’re starting to feel sick, take a daily dose of Emergen-C. Its extra blast of vitamin-C will help get you back on the right track.

•Maintain communal bathroom etiquette. Don’t forget your shower shoes and make sure you never leave items, such as toothbrushes, in the open to be confused with your hallmates.’

•Be positive and, most of all, pray! Do not give in to the doom and gloom attitude that you are getting sick. Instead, take the necessary steps to be healthy, maintain the mind-set that you won’t get sick and offer it up to the Lord. He cares about everything in your life and wants you to give Him all of your burdens. Let the Lord be the ultimate charge over your health.

Overall, making your body a priority will be beneficial and save you much hassle in the long run. So buy some hand sanitizer, drink plenty of water and get ready to see a wonderful end of the year!