Since they put people in close proximity, college campuses are hotbeds for colds, influenza, mononucleosis and even meningitis. If you want to stay healthy and energized this semester, make sure to follow these tips.
• Don’t wash your dishes where you wash your hands. You would never bring your food into the restroom, so don’t wash your dirty hands in the kitchen sink. If you do, there’s a good chance you will contaminate your dishes with germs.
• Avoid sharing towels. Towels can transmit fungal infections, viruses or even MRSA. Keep your towel in a safe place away from your roommates.
• Use caution at the college gym. Treadmills and other gym equipment are notorious for collecting germs. Be sure to wipe down equipment with disinfectant before and after your workout. You should also wash your hands frequently and be extra careful not to touch your face during your workout.
• Don’t share. Whether it’s water at the gym or a beer at a party, if you sip from someone’s glass, you risk getting sick. Even if someone looks well enough, they may be harboring germs that can put you out of commission for days.
• Avoid smokers. Tobacco smoke exposure increases a person’s susceptibility to respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, bacterial meningitis and Legionnaires disease.
• Use good judgment. Don’t let love, lust or alcohol impair your good judgment. Irresponsible sexual activity can give you the flu, strep throat and serious sexually transmitted diseases, which can change your life forever.
• Protect your feet. Shared showers are hot spots for fungal infections. Protect yourself by wearing flip flops or other protective footwear.
Illnesses can be disruptive, whatever your age or walk of life. For college kids, an illness can result in several missed classes, which can put students behind the eight ball. To make sure you are healthy enough to tackle your demanding college schedule, be sure to take preventative steps to keep from getting sick. This includes getting a yearly flu shot, which can drastically reduce your risk of contracting influenza.