Stay healthy, Saint Mary’s

COLLEGIAN – Sep. 20, 2011

By Krysta Worthen

Wash your hands!

This is the best advice Dr. Ali Rezapour of the Health and Wellness Center, along with Coordinator of the Health and Wellness Center, Irene Umipig can recommend.

As the student population continues to grow, more and more students are living in close quarters and sharing personal space. So when your roommate gets sick, and you’re feeling that your demise is imminent as well, how can you fight it off and stay healthy?

The first tip Rezapour offers is washing hands thoroughly and often. This is the most effective method for preventing disease. While it is always important to wash hands after sneezing or coughing, Rezapour also recommends washing hands even after something so small as scratching or cleaning your nose, because germs can spread so easily through shared spaces and objects; door handles, computers, cell phones and light switches can all hold germs that can be passed along.

Next, Rezapour suggests ventilating the room. Catching the bug is dependent upon the concentration of the bug in the room. Low ceilings and small rooms are going to create a higher concentration of the bug. Opening windows and doors, and the doors to the hallways as well (if the RAs and RDs allow it) can be helpful. Students who wish to have a screen put on their window so they can open it without the worry of bugs crawling in can request to have one installed.

The third tip is: Get some sleep! Your immunity goes down when you are not getting enough sleep. It is also not just about the quantity of sleep, but the quality as well. Rezapour often promotes going to bed on an empty stomach and is known to tell his patients to eat, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a beggar.” This can aid quality sleep.

Furthermore, according to Rezapour, studies show that alcohol consumption, especially when drinking late at night, is the number one cause of sleep disturbance in the US.

Rezapour also stresses the importance of eating well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet will keep students healthy in every sense of the word.

Finally, Rezapour urges students to use common sense when sharing personal items. Don’t share toothbrushes or cups, and disinfect common spaces frequently to eliminate the germs. It is also very important to wear shower shoes in community showers, and to not share them with anyone else.

Finally, Rezapour adds, flu shots will be available in the Health and Wellness Center from October 3-12 , 9:30am-3:30pm for $20.

Students feeling ill are encouraged to visit the Health and Wellness Center to get checked out.

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