Keeping healthy during freshers’ week- and fighting freshers’ flu!
Ah, Freshers Flu- that common myth that every university student will fall ill and be bed bound for at least a small part of their freshers’ experience.
Wrong, this isn’t always the case and most of the time it’s the consecutive nights of drinking which catches up with students and results in what they call ‘one giant hangover’.
However, as much 1pm lie ins, pyjama days and fry ups are enough to convince students that they’re ready to socialize for yet another night, there are several other things freshers can do to ensure they stay healthy for the duration of freshers’ week and those following.
Remember your vitamins
No, unfortunately fruity ciders and raspberry vodka do not count as your five a day.
During freshers’ week you need to make sure your vitamin intake is as high as it should be, if not higher.
And if eating 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables is out of the equation for you, a really simple way to do this is to buy multivitamin tablets from a pharmacy or supermarket and to take these every morning.
Many of my housemates also regularly added dissolvable vitamin C tablets to water and drunk these every morning for an energy boost. I personally, however, would advise eating real oranges- they’re full of goodness for you.
There are also really easy ways of getting fruit and veg into your everyday meals. For example. buying vegetable sauces to add to pasta and bolognaises, and adding chopped onion, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms to the dishes.
You can do the same for meals such as curry, chili con carne and risotto. I also regularly made vegetable soups and smoothies using my nutri bullet during my first year. Getting this many fruit or vegetables into one meal is a great way to up your vitamin count for the day while reducing the need to factor multiple healthy snacks into your food plan.
Although obvious, breathing in fresh air is necessary to keep your body functioning properly, particularly your brain and lungs.
Every morning during freshers, I made sure I opened my window to let fresh air circulate around my room and to prevent any germs from lingering.
It’s also important to get yourself outside- even if just for a short walk- to help you refresh and restore your energy for the day.
While you might not feel up to it, exercise is also a great option for staying healthy during freshers’ week. I chose to sign up for the gym at the start of the week and used my gym trips to keep fit and avoid putting on any alcohol-related weight.
Due to the number of students engaging throughout freshers’ week, it is likely that some sort of cold or stomach bug might be passed around.
To avoid catching something off one of your flat mates, it’s a good idea to clean things such as your kitchen surfaces, phone screens and light switches using antibacterial spray every so often.
If you think you might be catching something, it’s a wise decision to take something as quick as possible.
If it’s a cold, remedies such as Lemsip, hot tea with lemon and honey, and echinacea throat spray often do the job. Things such as a hot water bottle and wearing warm clothes when it’s cold are also advisable.
And if you feel that your symptoms are getting worse and you are worried, can make an appointment at the university medical practice. This you will be advised to sign up for during your first week.
Most importantly, to avoid contracting anything serious during your time at university, the NHS highly advise getting the Meningitis vaccination before the start of term. This will protect you against the life-threatening illness which is most contagious in environments with multiple people, such as freshers’ week.
Keep healthy during freshers’ week to ensure you feel good at the same time as having fun.
Written by Taz Usher