How to avoid getting a cold

 (Photo by Quin Hauck/SAIT)

(Photo by Quin Hauck/SAIT)

Flu season is approaching, and the time to take preventative measure is now.

University of Lethbridge student, Derek Saint-Jean, said that he personally isn’t worried about getting sick, but that succumbing to illness is bound to happen.

“We are often in closed areas, and mixed with poor diet and stress, students are often highly at risk to catch something,” Saint-Jean said.

Although falling ill seems inevitable, Saint-Jean said that he seldom sees his fellow students take measures to prevent illness.

“Most students will usually just let themselves get sick, then take medicine after the fact.”

Students don’t want to take time out of their day to get a flu shot, because buying cough drops is easy enough.

According to an article by Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier in SAIT Student Health 101 magazine “How can I avoid getting sick?” there are many methods to prevent oneself from getting sick, and all of them are fairly simple.

“We can get sick in various ways,” Tellier said.

“We can catch an infection, develop a chronic disease or experience emotional illness.”

Methods outlined for keeping oneself healthy include, minimizing stress, eating a balanced diet, and being physically active.

“Every week, get 150 minutes of moderate intensity movement and two strength-training sessions,” Tellier said, adding that this can be done by spending half an hour running, biking or dancing five days a week combined with using free weights, weight machines or your own bodyweight to exercise.

He also put a heavy emphasis on getting the flu shot every year, and said that if you do get sick, you should take it easy on yourself.

“If you get sick, stay home, don’t spread it to others. Stay hydrated and frequently wash your hands with soap and water.”

The Alberta Health website offers an amazing amount of information on the flu and how to treat and prevent it.

“Seasonal influenza happens every year, and new strains of influenza can emerge and spread anytime of the year,” the Alberta Health website says.

On the Alberta Health webpage “Influenza self-care – Care and protect,” there are many ways listed to protect oneself from the flu.

Some of the ways to protect oneself suggested by Alberta Health are avoiding large gatherings when the flu is going around your community, keeping items separate, if a household member is sick, standing more than six feet away from someone who is sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces like phones, keyboards, light switches and door knobs.

The webpage also suggests a number of ways to be prepared if one succumbs to the flu.

These include putting together a “home preparedness kit” having non-perishable foods and medication ready and arranging a back-up caregiver for loved ones if necessary.



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