Letter to the Editor: Avoid H1N1 with common sense

As a Personal Trainer at the Wellness Center and a senior majoring in Exercise Physiology, I would just like to express my concern for the overall health of the University community.

With reports of H1N1 spreading throughout the South Florida region, I think it is important to provide some basic knowledge that could help prevent more cases as well as improve the wellbeing of our community here at UM. As a student myself, I know how much the social aspect of college seems to overshadow some other parts of our lives… ahem, school.

Of course students are going to go to the Grove on Thursdays, and drink and sing Journey songs until their faces hurt. This is not the problem. The real issue is moderation. Instead of drinking as many pitchers at Tavern as possible, we can limit our alcohol intake to still “have a good time” and not have the dire effects to our health and immune system.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol dramatically decreases immune function as well as puts us at risk for picking up even the most common of bugs. Pair this depressed immunity and having class the next day (if you make it of course) in a room with 150 other students, and you have a veritable “hot zone” for the spread of air-borne illnesses.

It is paramount that we try and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, exercise in some form most days of the week, and eat healthier. Not only will we look, feel, and work that much better, but we can try and thwart the spread of this very determined virus and better ourselves all in one push.

So talk to your friends, roommates, and classmates and plan out a healthier lifestyle together, even if you’re just making small changes. Start shopping on the perimeter of the supermarket where the fresh and unprocessed vegetables and meats are. Go to the Wellness Center and join a free fitness class ranging from kick boxing to belly dancing. Maybe don’t go out drinking one night of the week you usually would and participate in one of the free on-campus activities like salsa dancing or a movie at the Cosford. Just remember if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

– Jeremy Albelda, Senior, J.albelda@umiami.edu