Building a Healthy Immune System in Winter

Building a Healthy Immune System in Winter

Winter can bring with it a wide variety of ailments including cold and flu season. Our immune system can take a hit in winter, which is why it’s essential to take care of it so that it wards off germs, illnesses and diseases.

Do plenty of exercise

Many people feel sluggish and tired during the colder months due to the lack of sunlight. Therefore, it is important to exercise regularly as it will boost your immunity. Physical activity improves circulation which allows immune cells easier and quicker passage to their destinations. Along with improved circulation it can also assist in removing toxins from muscles and organs thus strengthening the immune system. Moderate cardio workouts can also lower stress levels and help better sleep.

Read more: How to find motivation to exercise after work in winter

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep deprivation can be damaging to your health as it is known to increase the risk of illness. Our bodies rejuvenate, repair and strengthen themselves when we are resting. Not sleeping enough can lead to higher levels of stress and more inflammation in your body. Adults should get around seven to nine hours of sleep for good health, if people are struggling then they should try taking a nap in the morning or afternoon if possible.

Eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet

It can be very tempting in winter to fill up on unhealthy comfort foods, however, you should try to maintain a healthy diet including five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Avoid food and drink that can weaken the immune system such as excess sugar, refined starches, caffeine and alcohol. Binge drinking can have a negative impact on immune function within 20 minutes. Keep your immune system strong with foods such as citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, etc…), red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, turmeric, green tea, papaya, kiwi, poultry, sunflower seeds or shellfish (crab, clams, lobster, mussels, etc…).

Read more: How to main a healthy diet at work

Ditch smoking

Smoking irritates the lungs and damages their ability to clear infection, smokers are more likely to have more severe and longer-lasting illnesses. Smoking also depletes your body of many vitamins and minerals. It raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in children. Eliminating this bad habit from your life will strengthen your immune system and prevent you from getting sick as frequently.

Make the most of the daylight

Hibernating indoors during the cold months is easily done, however, you should enjoy the sun light whilst it is out. Getting some fresh air will expose you to new types of bacteria that you might not encounter in every day life, which sets your microbiome up to support your immune system. It will also refresh your senses and help with the detoxification process. If you have the time and can afford to, escaping for some winter sun can also do the world of good for you and your immune system.