How to keep your immune system healthy this winter

Officially winter hasn’t begun and yet already the cold and flu germs seem to be making their rounds in full force, with many of us suffering from every day colds to horrible coughs and flu. But even with the nights drawing in and the weather turning colder, winter doesn’t have to be an unhealthy season.

Here’s our top tips on how to stay fit and well this winter.

Beat the winter blues

Many of us feel tired and lethargic during winter and with the weather turning cold and damp it’s hard to motivate ourselves to get outdoors in the fresh air. But being outside is a perfect antidote for lifting our spirits and helping us to feel more energised. Plus, the more time we spend outdoors the more we are exposed to natural daylight and Vitamin D, which helps to boost our immune systems.

shutterstock_1038682978Sleep

Having a good sleep pattern will help you feel refreshed every morning. It can be difficult to get into a good sleeping routine but waking up and going to bed at the same times, will help your body settle into a good routine. If you can, try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. If you struggle with sleep, the Sleep Council website has some great advice to help you get a good night’s sleep: https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/

 

Reduce Stress

Prolonged stress can have negative effects on our health and well-being as well as reducing our immune systems. Learning to control stress will help boost your system as well as your mental health. You can try simple easy steps to begin with such as taking a 5-minute break should a stressful situation arise at work or why not try exercise classes that focus the mind and body such as yoga or meditation. There are also a great range of aromatherapy products which can help relieve stress. Visit a reputable herbalist like Baldwins who will be able to give you advice about which products would be more suitable for your needs: https://www.baldwins.co.uk/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-candles. If you think your stress symptoms are getting worse, make sure you make an appointment with your doctor.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet will help your energy levels as well as your immune system. The winter months are notoriously bad for eating comfort food but it’s vital your diet stays healthy throughout this period. Eat plenty of fruit and veg every day and make sure each meal is balanced and as varied as possible. Hearty stews with seasonal vegetables such as carrots, swede, parsnips and turnips will help banish any cravings for junk food.

Kick the bad habits shutterstock_609762716

With the festive season and over indulgences just around the corner why not have a detox and give up alcohol and smoking. Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it also undermines basic immune defences. Drinking alcohol may give you an energy burst to begin with but will have the opposite effect the next day when you will want to eat comfort food and lounge around the house. If you can’t give up your vices permanently, give your body a break and abstain for the next few weeks. Visit the NHS website for further support and advice on kicking addictive habits: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/addiction-what-is-it/