The Best Healthy-Living Dorm Room Tips To Follow This Fall
Tight quarters and cold and flu season don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, yet that’s exactly what dorm dwellers are facing this fall and winter. Rather than being focused on mid-terms and enjoying football season, many college students will find illnesses sideline them, caused in large part to their proximity to other students. Medical and health professionals are urging students, particularly those college students who live in dorms, to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their wellbeing.
While some contact with germs and bacteria may be unavoidable, the following tips and hacks can make for a less risky environment, even when you’re living in a dorm.
Safeguard Your Toothbrush
Recently, some news outlets have been reporting relatively disturbing. While you might know places like toilet seats can carry bacteria, it’s really those toothbrushes you might want to be watching out for. A recent study from the University of Manchester found there are over 10 million bacteria likely to be on your toothbrush at any given time. A research team from the University of Alabama found that toothbrushes stored in the bathroom contain a significant amount of bacteria, and in some cases even fecal matter. So what should you do? Whether you use an electric toothbrush or a regular old manual one, make sure you aren’t storing it in the bathroom. You can also frequently replace your toothbrush, or if it’s electric, the head. You can also cover it with something like a Steripod when it’s not in use.
Skip The Bad Foods
Dorm living is also synonymous with late night snacks, pizza orders and of course, the fatty food found in many college cafeterias. Unfortunately, eating these foods isn’t just going to contribute to the Freshman 15. It’s also going to weaken your body and make it harder to fight off sickness. Try to eat healthy foods whenever you can, including foods that are naturally antibacterial and detoxifying like coconut oil, fresh garlic, and protein.
Sharing Isn’t Caring
Dorm living tends to mean not just unhealthy foods and late night parties, but also an environment of sharing. There’s a “what’s mine is ours” attitude among many roommates so that sharing can extend to everything from snacks to drinks. This is a big problem and also one of the primary reasons college students are more likely to get sick. Even sharing things like makeup brushes and mascara can lead to the spread of germs and bacteria, so try to find a nice way to tell your roommate you won’t be swapping items.
Keep Your Towels and Linens Clean
Between studying and having fun, you might not have a lot of extra time left over to do laundry, particularly if items seem like they can go longer in between washes like towels, washcloths, and sheets. Unfortunately, these can be a breeding ground for infections, and if you’re athletic and play sports with a team, your towels might even have very serious bacteria, including what can lead to staph infections. Make sure you’re frequently washing all of your linens, and as is recommended above, don’t share these items either.
Now is the time of year when everyone from doctors to media outlets are reminding students who live in the dorm to be safe and protect themselves against illness. The above tips are a great start and can help keep college students’ fall moving along smoothly.
Author: Carmelo Hannity