Winter - a time for crisp mornings and cosy nights by the fire. But it also marks a time for when common colds and winter viruses come alive. As such, it’s important to arm your body with everything it needs to fight off infection. And that means giving our immune systems a healthy boost.
So how do you strengthen your immune system? We’ve put together some top tips to help you get started.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
This is your first line of defence. By taking regular exercise and eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables, you will contribute to your body’s general good health and therefore, a healthy immune system. It is also thought that foods rich in nutrients like vitamin C can reduce the duration of the common cold.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Inadequate sleep can increase your risk of illness. So, as a general rule, adults should try to get at least 7 hours of good quality sleep per night. And if you suffer from poor sleep, there are a number of things you can do to wake up feeling refreshed. These include limiting your screen time before bed and keeping a regular sleep pattern.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Long-term stress can cause imbalances in your immune cell functioning. So relieving it is key to good immune health. Common stress relievers include calming meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices. You can also try reducing your intake of short-term pick-me-ups such as caffeine and nicotine, as these are stimulants thought to increase levels of stress.
Preventing dehydration is vital for your general health and wellbeing. As a general guide, you should try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid (preferably water) per day, even if your body does not signal that it’s thirsty.
By making these small changes to your lifestyle and diet, you can boost your immune system health. So your body can help fight off whatever winter throws at you.