Internist Shirin Peters, MD of Bethany Medical Clinic, shares back-to-school health tips and tricks

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Summer is winding down and students across the country are settling into their dorms and new class schedules for the fall semester. As routines and, in some cases, climates change drastically for these students, Shirin Peters, MD, founder of Bethany Medical Clinic, offers her tips to help students ensure they keep their immune systems strong and are ready to fight germs as they return to campus.

“Living in dormitories, students are surrounded by many germs on a daily basis, from communal showers to doorknobs, it’s important to be prepared as colds can spread very quickly in these environments,” says Dr Peters. “To help alleviate this stress, students can implement routines that will keep them healthy and their rooms clean throughout the school year.”

Dr. Peters recommends the following tips for boosting immunity:

Make sure you have immune-boosting products on hand. At the end of the summer, it can be difficult for students to adjust to the new semester and the first 8 a.m. class sessions. Make sure you have a medicine drawer in your dorm room and keep it stocked with products containing vitamin C and zinc. I love Zicam Daily Immune Support, a gummy supplement designed with zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C to give the immune system a boost in just one sitting. When cold symptoms slip through the cracks, I recommend Zicam RapidMelts, which cuts the cold short at the first sign.

Thoroughly clean your room. During the summer, uninhabited dormitories can pick up a lot of dust and dander that can lead to allergies, sniffles and sneezes. Vacuuming carpets and upholstery daily to remove unwanted dust and wearing a mask when cleaning dust-laden surfaces can reduce exposure to allergy triggers. Cover your pillows and mattress with airtight, allergen-resistant covers to eliminate dust mites and add a protective layer while you sleep. Use a HEPA filter in your home to remove dust and allergens from the air and help protect against airborne contaminants. Remember to change air filters monthly to avoid excess dust, lint, pet dander, bacteria, fabric fibers and airborne food matter accumulate over time.

Stick to your schedule with a balanced diet and exercise. Being away from home, I notice routines can start to break. Exercise can be done in many ways, from a daily morning walk on campus to an hour a few days a week at the campus recreation center. When I go to the canteen, I know there can be many options, but eating nutritious, vitamin-rich foods is essential to staying healthy. For example, incorporating honey into your diet can make you immune to an irritant due to its natural antibacterial properties and can even help soothe a sore throat. Taking a daily multivitamin such as vitafusion MultiVites, which provides essential vitamins and minerals, is a great way to keep the body balanced and make health a priority.

Get enough sleep. In college with a small Twin XL bed, a roommate, and other factors, I know it can be difficult to get a good night’s rest. According to a Harvard study, “Seventy to 96 percent of college students get less than eight hours of sleep each night of the week. Although I know with long nights in the library during the week and having fun with friends on the weekends it can be difficult but I recommend at least 6-7 hours a night to keep the body on the right way. For those who have trouble falling asleep in a noisy dorm room, our brains sometimes need an extra boost to fall asleep faster and stay there longer. Zicam Sleep + Immune Support gummy is a great option that you can take 1-2 hours before bedtime, to help you get uninterrupted sleep and a daily value of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D for immune support so that you can be ready to face the next day.