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HEALTHY HUSKY: How to deal with illnesses

Campus Correspondent

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 23:02

All the orange juice and Vitamin C in the world sometimes can’t help you. Whether this year’s flu or something more serious finally overwhelms your immune system, there is nothing worse than poorly managing your illness and making it worse. Part of growing up is learning to listen to your body and understand how you can most effectively handle recovery from a small cold to a debilitating flu. While some steps to getting well are largely individual, here are some tips that can help you develop a strategy without calling home to mom.

One of the most important steps when you are sick is also the most overlooked: rest. We all like to belittle our illnesses and try to push through it in the beginning stages, and all we do is make matters worse. When you know you are sick, the best thing you can do for your body is to provide it all the energy it needs to help fight whatever ails you. We all have classes and meetings we can’t miss, but it may be better to skip some of the less pressing matters. When you’re sick, it’s very easy to overestimate what your body can handle, and doing too much can leave you in regret.

Another key aspect to examine when you are sick is your nutrition. It is ok to have your go-to comfort food that makes you feel better, but a diet of pizza and beer will not help your body heal more quickly. Rather, by staying hydrated and maintaining good eating habits (think fruits and veggies), you can help your body stay fueled for the fight. Everyone you talk to will have a different home remedy that is supposed to make you feel better faster; but, the fact is, very few of those have any medical evidence supporting them. Whether it’s ginger root or chicken noodle soup, if it makes you feel better use it, but being sick is not an excuse to go shopping for a miracle cure.

As it pertains to working out, being sick and going too hard can set you back even further. A good simple check to use is the “neck check”. If you have symptoms below your neck (i.e. cough, body aches etc.), it’s probably best to take the day off. Exercising while you’re sick may ultimately exacerbate your symptoms.

There are a lot of nasty illnesses going around right now. While the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true, sometimes the odds are stacked against you. As always, if anything seems out of the usual (severity or duration) it is probably best to see a doctor who may be able to help provide you with tips beyond what is included in this article.


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