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Morgan Milovich Dr. Boyle JMC219 – A Final Paper 12/16/11 Staying Healthy During the Winter Months Winter, also known as flu season, is the time of year when many people start to get sick and germs spread like wildfire. The winter months are a time when the body needs to be taken special care of. According to the National Health Services, the NHS,website, the best way to maintain strong health is to have a healthy diet, exercise on a regular basis, and get plenty of sleep. Nathan VanWinkle, a sophomore who works the Gallagher Hall front desk at Creighton, said he does his best to maintain good health during the winter, but when people around him are sick, he tends to get sick too. He doesn’t generally workout, so during the winter months, he doesn’t make any extra effort to workout. “I’m raging against the machine,” VanWinkle said. VanWinkle said he thinks it’s ridiculous to get all hot and sweaty from working out to just go back out in the cold to walk back to his residence hall. People tend to walk less outdoors in the winter to avoid the cold. VanWinkle said he thinks he walks less becausehe lives in Kenefick Hall, and he doesn’t want to go out in the cold. He said he’s not opposed to walking; he would just rather stay warm. “I’d rather take the shuttle than walk to cross the barren wasteland that is Creighton in the winter,” VanWinkle said. According to the NHSwebsite, when it’s cold and dark outside, it is more tempting to fill up on junk food. It is important to remember, that in order to stay healthy, an individual should shoot for having five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. VanWinkle said he eats more oranges in the winter. He tries to cut down on juices to cut out the extra sugar, and just eat the fruits instead. The NHSwebsite also stated that the average adult should try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Most adults barely get six hours of sleep each night. Kendall Barnett, a junior psychology major at Creighton, said she tries to get more sleep than she usually would. She said she tries to relieve her stress by getting the right amount of rest. “I take naps a lot,” Barnett said.

Barnett said she also tries to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. She said she prefers to get the natural vitamins and minerals from the fresh produce. According to the Cold and Flu website, exercise is key to maintaining good health. Exercise and sleep are powerful immune boosters. Individuals should participate in moderate exercise for 20-30 minutes everyday to increaseblood flow, which spreads nutrients throughout the body quickly. The Cold and Flu website states that regular physical activity lowers an individual’s overall risk of developing upper-respiratory infections. According to this website, people who are socially active get fewer colds. Frequent socializers tend to be more positive and maintain high-quality emotional ties; both strengthen immunity. JoeLippert, a junior who works at the Kiewit Fitness Center, said in the winter he makes an extra effort to take the stairs. He said he personally tries to workout more in the winter to increase his energy levels and fight off getting sick. “I follow basic sanitary needs, watch what I eat, and do my best to take the stairs,” Lippert said. Hanna Doenlen, a junior who has worked at the Kiewit Fitness Center for three years, said as it gets colder people tend to stay inside. She said the amount of people that workout in the KFC goes in waves. “I try to workout everyday, eat healthy, and attempt to get as much sleep as possible, Doenlen said. To maintain good health, according to the Cold and Flu website, and individual can fight back with food, shield himself or herself from germs, and take extra dietary supplements. Milk and other dairy products are great sources of protein according to the NHSwebsite. They are an important source of calcium and vitamins A and B12. Christine Moore, a junior nursing student, said she follows alternative medicine. She constantly makes teas and hot lemon and water to cleanse her system. She said she also takes daily vitamin C tablets as well as her multivitamin. According to the Cold and Flu website, the best way to defend against viruses is to keep them at a safe distance. When washing your hands, a helpful tip is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to properly disinfect your hands. The Cold and Flu website also suggests replacing kitchen and bathroom towels with paper towels. Germs can live on surfaces for up to three days. Moore said washing hands is key. Nursing school has constantly enforced high sanitation, and they’ve taught the nursing students appropriate coughing and sneezing measures.

“I always keep Purell in my bag and car,” Moore said. The Cold and Flu website also suggested taking extra supplements. The website suggested taking vitamin D if an individual isn’t getting enough sun. Fish is important for heart and immune health. If an individual doesn’t like fish, the website suggests taking omega-3 fatty acid capsules instead. “I do my best to stay healthy,” Moore said, “especially when everyone around me is starting to get sick.” Sources: Nathan VanWinkle: JoeLippert: Hannah Doenlen: Christine Moore: Kendall Barnett: Cold and Flu: proofyour-family-winter/#.TuYDSjtob20 NHSchoices: *Note: I tried to get an interview with a nurse or pa at the student health center, but the majority of them had already gone on vacation, and those that were still on call were too busy to squeezeme in for an interview.

Staying Healthy in the Winter