swirlysnakeHere are some practical ways you can stay healthy this quarter and avoid lost time spent recovering from illnesses. All of these things really do affect your body’s ability to fight off any infections you encounter:

Really Easy
-Get enough sleep
-Eat regularly
-Be happy, reduce stress

Little More Difficult
-Wash hands after all physical contact
-Don’t share cups, glasses, smoking materials
-Avoid excessive alcohol and other drugs
-Give the evil eye to anyone who coughs without covering

Painful but Worth It
-Flu shots annually (available now at Student Health)
-Meningitis shot age 16 or later (new one available soon too for group B)
-Shot for whooping cough (pertussis) if not already received

AND if you want to keep your friends healthy, STAY HOME when ill so you do not spread the disease you have to others!
Maybe these methods aren’t as glamorous as taking the “magic vitamin supplement” or spending lots of money on exotic products, but they are proven to work and are really not that hard to do. A little pain from a shot can save you days of illness — which do you choose?

“I got sick the last time I had a flu shot.” No, the flu shot cannot give you a disease; it is made of non-infectious particles that stimulate your immune system to be prepared. Maybe it was coincidental, or maybe you felt that reaction in your immune system so you know it worked!

Mary Ferris, M.D. is the director of UCSB Student Health.

See the Student Health website for daily times when you can come in for immunizations, and make appointments to have your immunization records analyzed. Questions can also be emailed to our Advice Nurses through the confidential GATEWAY on the website.

Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, November 6, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.