6 Tips for High School Students to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
As cold and flu season approaches, you might notice that many of your classmates are absent and when they return, there is the dreaded pile of “make-up work” to tackle! Getting sick can really derail your study schedule, affect your grades, and cause you to miss important academic or social events.
Taking care of your health is part of being a successful student. Follow these six tips to prevent illness over the course of the school year, and hopefully you can avoid the stress of falling behind on your work.
Get eight hours of sleep each night. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body becomes stressed and more prone to illness. Plus, it’s harder to concentrate and learn when you’re overly tired. Rather than staying up late cramming for a test, spread out your studying over several nights so that you don’t become sleep deprived.
Exercise! Exercise is good for your body, but also your brain. Just thirty minutes of exercise each day boosts brain function. If you can, exercise outdoors as often as possible. Just like Grandma always said, sunlight and fresh air can do wonders for your health.
Watch for signs of depression. Balancing your studies and personal life can be stressful, and can trigger depression. And since depression can negatively impact all areas of your health, you want to take steps to fight it before it takes over your life. If you do notice any signs of depression, ask for help before it gets out of control.
Eat a healthy diet. This tip is fairly obvious, but we’re saying it anyway. Provide your body with healthy fuel by eating breakfast, avoiding junk, and including plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in your meals. Processed foods that are high in sugar and white flour can actually depress your immune system, making you more prone to illness.
Schedule a check-up. Have you visited your primary physician in the past year? If not, it’s time for a check-up. Routine physicals can help you discover important health problems early, so that they can be treated promptly. Dental health is just as important, so schedule a visit with your dentist too.
It sounds silly, and simple… but wash your hands! Most of the illnesses that are passed around schools (like the common cold) are spread by contact with doorknobs, computer keyboards, desks, and so on. Wash your hands regularly to reduce your exposure to germs. And of course, avoid sharing food or drinks with your friends.
Despite your best efforts, you could get sick anyway. If this happens to you, communicate with your teachers and ask for your assignments. A friend, sibling, or parent can bring any necessary supplies to you. Try to stay caught up on your work when you’re sick in bed, and the illness will be less of a disruption to your academic life.