Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

With fall well on its way, the sniffles can be heard campus-wide. How can we make WCU a healthy place? I am by no means an expert, but I try to live a healthy life. So should you! If we all follow these five simple steps, WCU could be on its way to being germ-free.
1. Get outside. Fresh air can provide many benefits to your cold-stricken body. For starters, fresh air improves the cleansing pattern in your lungs, helping to get rid of those nasty germs you caught while hanging out with your new study buddy.
2. Eat a sweet potato. Or Five. Fall is the perfect time for sweet potatoes. They are rich in vitamins A and C, both great if you are trying to prevent a cold. If you add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the potato, it is the epitome of fall. Also in season are apples and pumpkins: go to a local orchard for a festive Saturday activity, getting some fresh air while you are buying local.
3. Get some sleep. There are countless reasons to get eight hours a night, but mental well-being is the most important. In the fall and winter, many people have seasonal affect disorder. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help improve your mood and your over-all mental health. Being well rested provides you with natural energy and helps you to concentrate. This makes you more productive and hopefully pleasant. Now, go take that power nap!
4. Go for a run. I already mentioned the benefits of being outdoors, but you can even run inside if you prefer. Treadmills at the Rec Center or the Clubhouse Gym on South Campus are high-tech and fun to run on. If you want to run inside but need a change of scenery, the indoor track in the Rec Center is the thing for you. Running does numerous beneficial things for your body, but specifically relieves stress and depression that the seasonal change might cause.
5. Make study habits. As mid-terms and eventually finals approach, you don’t want to be stressing out about the big test. Planning ahead and setting due dates on assignments will help you not only academically (oh yeah, that’s why we are here isn’t it?), but also mentally. I am not against making to-do lists solely for the purpose of checking off something each day. Never underestimate the feeling of accomplishment, friends!
If these five simple tips seem like too much work for you, at least do your fellow students a favor and wash your hands. Especially after you blow your nose (hopefully on a tissue), and before you eat. These may sound obvious, but it is amazing what novelties we think we have to give up when we are living the “college life”. General health and hygiene is not one of them! Practice healthy habits and spread the word about this thing called fresh air. Now go eat a sweet potato!
Kristen Kauffman is a second-year student majoring in Nutrition & Dietetics. She can be reached at 

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