Cold and Flu Season Is Back!

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Cold weather and stress from the holidays can get us feeling down. There are things you can do to ensure a speedier recovery, or to avoid getting sick at all.

Kevon Elzey, Staff Writer

It’s that time of the year that everyone loves― the holidays are near, snow is falling, and everyone is spending time with their families. The winter season can be one of the most joyful of the four seasons, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Shoveling large amounts of snow just to get out of your driveway is a pain and last minute gift shopping for the holidays can make people insane.  There are many things to love and hate about the winter season, but the one  thing people should be most concerned about—and can certainly put a damper on the festivities of the season—is sickness.

 

The winter season is the most common time for people to receive an illness such as a cold or influenza. Most illnesses are very contagious and can be spread easily among people. According to the Government of South Australia, illnesses can be spread through coughing, sneezing, physical contact with a sick person etc.  Although illnesses may not seem like much, if not treated with proper care they could have a major affect on someone.

Germs are the main cause of illness. “You don’t get sick because of the weather or because you went outside without a hat,” said Round Lake High School nurse Elizabeth Keller. “Even though exposure to cold and fluctuations in temperature [can]make you feel run down and challenge your immune system.” Although germs can spread very easily, they can be avoided. “Wash your hands.” Keller said. “Every time you come home from the store or mall, wash your hands. Wash your hands at school. Just think about how many times people have touched the same door handle to your classroom.” A person can reduce their chances of getting sick by not only washing their hands but also by having healthy eating habits.

Eating habits have a major effect on how the body functions. Advanced fitness teacher Nicole Herchenbach said, “Foods rich in vitamins and minerals help the body recover.” A good diet can provide the body with the things it needs to stay healthy and not get sick. Performing physical activities is another way to stay healthy and not get sick during the winter. “People should find an activity that they enjoy so they’re more inclined to stay active during the winter,” said Herchenbach. A study from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that being active for two and a half hours each week can reduce the risk of getting sick. The more a person exercises, the less likely they are to receive an illness. There are many ways to prevent illnesses but there are also many treatments for when someone does get sick.

There are many ways to treat an illness. “Time to recover is probably the best thing you can do for yourself,” Keller said. “Be a couch potato, sleep all day, call in sick to school and work. Your body can’t recover without rest. Drink healthy fluids, not energy drinks! Teas are good, water and juice are all good choices. Don’t forget to eat. You may not have an appetite, but try and eat small meals throughout the day. Your body needs proteins and carbs to function.” Herchenbach also states “ making sure that you get enough sleep, eight to nine hours a day so that the body can recover from the sickness, also upping vitamin D and vitamin C just to help aid in the recovery process.” Time and sleep are the best ways to recover from an illness and are the most healthy way to recover.

Sickness can cause many things if not treated with proper care. Although it may not seem like much, it can have an affect on a person’s lifestyle. In the end, it’s important to remember the three big rules to recovery: “Time to recover, rest, fluids and food,” Keller said. Sickness should be dealt with naturally by taking time to rest and having a healthy diet.