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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Five ways to spread holiday cheer, not germs

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s; these holidays are here but so are sicknesss.

Winter is a great season for romance. It’s filled with matching ugly Christmas sweaters, the sexy New Year’s Eve kiss and much more. What’s not so hot though, is the flu.

The flu is a very common winter illness and peaks between December and March, but it doesn’t stop there. Many illnesses increase in frequency during the winter months and can last well into spring. This time of year can also bring influenza, the common cold, foot-and-mouth disease and others.

Overall, there’s a decent chance you will get sick in the winter months. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to stay healthy.

To avoid cuddling with a blanket and a thermometer instead of your hot date, follow these tips:

1. Sleep

When we go home for the holidays, we will no longer be pulling all-nighters to cram for our exams. Sleep as often and as much as humanly possible. It won’t be long before the spring semester is upon us.

2. Eat more than ramen and energy bars

Eating in the dining hall or grocery shopping at WinCo can sometimes lead to unhealthy eating habits. However, over the holidays we are home and that means one thing: home-cooked meals. This is probably one of the things I look forward to most when I go back to my hometown. Eating more nutritious food will keep you satisfied and continue keeping your temperature normal.

3. Exercise regularly

Spending a little time on the treadmill or lifting some weights will not only keep the germs away, but also keep you nice and fit during one of the most caloric times of the year.

4. Wash your hands

You should always wash your hands. It’s a sanitary thing, but it’s particularly sanitary during the colder months. Before touching your face or eating, realize that sickness is all around you. That door you opened could’ve been touched by someone who threw up this morning. The Starbucks you ordered might have been made by a sneezing barista. As they say, better safe than sorry.

5. Stay warm

Turns out that being cold is not something your mom made up to keep you inside. A warmer body temperature can help viruses from spreading. Netflix, hot chocolate and Christmas movies may be your best bet to not getting sick this holiday season. You can use this as an excuse if you start to feel lazy over break.

All of this advice will not only make it less likely for you to get sick, but also increase your overall health and well-being. As a college student, I tend to put my health on the back burner. There’s not much time between classes, friends, parties and everything else. But we’re going home now and if you don’t want to be sneezing throughout the entirety of watching Home Alone, then take these tips to heart.

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.

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