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How to Avoid Getting Sick as the Weather Changes

How to Avoid Getting Sick as the Weather Changes

By: Campus Recreation Staff

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Face it, as students at Boise State trying to balance a busy schedule, it can be hard to stay healthy. As spring approaches, we all get that spring fever when temps start rising. Unfortunately, that usually comes along with a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and other cold and flu symptoms.

After the harsh winter we’ve had, spring fever will hit us all extra hard. While we’re all ready for warmer weather, it’s important to know how to avoid the cold that often accompanies spring temps.

To know how to tackle the cold and flu before they hit, you need to understand why you might get sick with the spring transition. According to Live Science, it’s not the temperature change that does it. Viruses (usually the rhinovirus, coronavirus, and influenza) become more abundant as they thrive in the cooler spring and fall air. The Weather Channel warns that people who suffer from allergies are also more prone to catching the common cold, as the body is busy trying to fight allergy symptoms, leaving your immune system weakened.

Now that you know why you’re more likely to get the spring cold and flu, here are six ways to help prevent them from slowing you down.

1. Wash your hands often.

Washing HandsWhile this may seem like common sense, many of us don’t wash our hands after sneezing or touching desks, which is especially important during this time. It turns out regular soap is fine since, according to the FDA, there isn’t any evidence that antibacterial soap combats bacteria that causes illness any better than the plain stuff.

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2. Get plenty of fluids.Water

You know drinking water is good for you. When you’re sick, fluids become even more important. Live Strong says this is because we become dehydrated when sick, which also means avoiding caffeine is essential. While sipping coffee when sick is a no-no, make sure you get plenty of other fluids such as soup, broth, tea, and sports drinks. If you’re watching your sugar consumption, coconut water is a good alternative to sports drinks. For a face-off between coconut water and sports drinks, check out this cool infographic at Prevention.

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3. Don’t overestimate the temperature.

When you see a spike from freezing temps to the low 60’s, you’ll be tempted to lose the layers. Don’t! Just because it looks and feels warm, and it is in comparison to the winter weather we’ve had, it’s not warm enough for tank tops and shorts. You don’t have to keep wearing your down coat, just simply having a light jacket on hand can keep you from getting chilly during erratic spring temps.

4. Get some exercise in at the Boise State University Student Recreation Center.

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If a cold does get you, don’t go out and do Cross Fit, TRX, or any other high-intensity workout. Instead, keep it light to moderate, such as yoga or walking. Health.com reports that doing light activity can help improve common cold symptoms as long as the symptoms are above the neck. Check out the Rec Center schedule to find a light to moderate workout. For a list of the best and worst exercises to do when you’re feeling under the weather, see Health.com.

5. Get enough sleep.

Teacup and NotepadWith your busy student schedule, this may seem impossible. Don’t skip those hours – they’re vital to overall health, not just during the season changes. Medical Daily suggests not only getting enough sleep, but also having a regular sleep pattern. If you are feeling low on energy or are already sick, why not do that homework in bed?

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6. Use a humidifier.

Humidifier and DropsIf you don’t already use a humidifier at night you should. Not only will it keep your airways from drying out in the winter and spring, it keeps hair and skin hydrated as well. Many humidifiers have a place for essential oils too. A few ideas are using eucalyptus oil if you feel like you are getting sick or lavender oil to make your room smell yummy. Humidifiers can be purchased from most drug stores for around $15 and essential oils starting around $4.

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Filed by BreAnna Ganske

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