By Tony Robles

Starting a new school year is exciting, but getting sick in the process depletes all that excitement. The new environment, climate change and overload of curricular and extracurricular activities can cause our immune system to weaken--making it more prone to getting sick. There are many things we can do individually, which include sleep and exercise, to avoid having to risk a grade in our class if we set a goal to stay healthy during the school year.

First step is to understand the process of the immune system and the gamble it is to weaken this crucial system in our body. The immune system has three key processes--it must prevent the entry of potential pathogens; detect the presence of a pathogen by distinguishing it from one's own body; and eliminate the pathogen. Just imagine how hard it is to prevent to get sick if our bodies cannot prevent the entry of a pathogen and eliminating it, soon after the pathogen multiplies and we get sick. So how can a new environment, climate change, and having an overload causes us to weaken? After leaving our own safe niche and moving to the a new environment we are exposed to new pathogens from the new environment or people from a different place who carry invasive pathogens who we have not been exposed to before. Our immune system is not able to recognize every pathogen which can get us sick, however there are things we can do to avoid this:

  1. Washing hands frequently is a great habit to develop to keep the least amount of germs available to enter your body. According to WebMD, washing hands is the most effective way to keep healthy as Professor of the University of Texas Medical School says "You use your hands to touch everything around you, and it's the fastest way to communicate infectious germs.”
  2. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day can help your immune system stay strong. Better cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, lungs more efficient to getting oxygen in its tissues, better mood, and even increase verbal memory and learning according to a study done at the University of British Columbia. Not only that Harvard researchers found that “It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.” For this exercise should be a high priority in your schedule.
  3. Enough sleep is crucial for good health. Even God rested on the seventh day. A Harvard University article says “Sleep is often one of the first things to go when people feel pressed for time. Many view sleep as a luxury and think that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs. People often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems can ultimately have on one's time and productivity.” Not only does sleep deprivation hinder a good memory but it also causes our bodies to not regenerate 100% causing us to weaken against pathogens. The best times to sleep is before 12 because for every hour before it counts as 2 since the body regenerates during the early stages of sleep before 12.
  4. Water is one of the most important liquids for the human body. 65% of our bodies is water, and about 80% of our brain consists of water which shows why drinking water can help even during your next exam. Water is one of the bases for everything in our body, without it we would not be able to survive for long. Having a water bottle next to you is one of the best thing you can do. How it reflects on staying healthy is that the more water the easier it is to transport nutrients across the body, as well as having a clearer mind during class.

This are few of the things we need to follow to have a successful healthy year. Ellen G. White add’s a few more as well as ones we talked about in Ministry of Healing, p. 127, “Pure air, sunlight, temperance, [sleep], exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power--
these are the true remedies.” Being sick is horrible during school especially in college because every class counts.