How to stay healthy during cold and flu season

Cold and flu season is upon us. Avoid lost time from work, school, and social engagements by taking precautions from getting sick. There are many things to consider to keep yourself healthy. Keep reading for tips to stay healthy during cold and flu season:

  1. Get your flu vaccination - Getting the flu vaccine can be an effective way to maintain your health through cold and flu season. By avoiding the flu, you save time and energy for more important things like class, hanging out with friends, and visiting family members who might be at a high-risk for flu complications. All University of Waterloo community members (students, staff, and faculty) can get their influenza vaccination at one of our flu clinics (Nov 6, 7, and 8 in the SLC). If you can’t make it our flu clinics, you can make an appointment at Health Services (after the scheduled dates), or visit one of the many pharmacies in town that offer flu shots.
  2. Get some sleep – Make sure that amongst all the excitement you still take time to get your daily zzz’s. Studies show that 7 to 9 hours a day is important to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and also improves your ability to focus on your studies.
  3. Stay physically active – Physical activity has been shown to increase energy, improve concentration, reduce stress, and help you maintain a healthy body weight.
  4. Keep well hydrated – Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to keep your brain and body working well.
  5. Wash your hands often – Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness. Make sure to wash your hands any time: they have visible dirt on them, before and after you prepare food, and after you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for those times you need to wash your hands but a sink isn't close by.
  6. Eat healthy – Choose foods from all the food groups, including lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats and meat alternatives, and low-fat dairy or milk alternatives. Eating well fuels your body for whatever the day throws at you.
  7. Schedule time for self-care activities – Find whatever makes you happy and relaxed and make sure you set some time aside in your week for that activity. Whether it is drawing, practising a musical instrument, running, knitting, or taking a walk in nature, make time for whatever brings you a little bit of joy and happiness in the week. Lots of stress over time can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the latest cold or flu going around

If you do end up getting sick you can visit Health Services for an appointment. Call 519-888-4096 to book.

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