Winter is knocking at the door, and we are all starting to layer up with hats, scarves, and gloves as we leave the house. Throw in a global pandemic into the mix, and it can make for a pretty miserable time if you are not prepared and not helping yourself to be as healthy as you possibly can. If you’re worried about what the winter months might bring in terms of sickness, then you need to be looking at some ways to help to boost your immune system during the winter months. Here are ten ways that you can do just that, naturally.
1: Stay hydrated
If you want to stay healthy and well and give your immune system a boost, then staying hydrated really is key. Water helps to fight toxins in our body, which is a layer of protection to help your immune system. You can feel more energized when you’re hydrated too, as your body has what it needs to function at its best.
2: Exercise and move your body
You don’t have to sweat for hours on end in a gym to be able to give your immune system a boost over winter. Something as simple as getting outside for a walk for half an hour each day can make a difference. Doing something each day to get your body moving is important for good health. Exercising and moving can help with weight loss or maintenance, as well as reducing your risk of things like heart disease, and help blood pressure levels. Exercise can also help as you age, which is another aspect that can be important for a healthy immune system.
It is important to focus on eating a range of foods to have a healthy and balanced diet. For each meal, you should think about having all components of a healthy meal, such as meats, vegetables, fruits, proteins, nuts, grains, and seeds. When planning your meals, you should think about what is going to fit into your lifestyle too. Looking at Biltong nutrition, for example, can make a difference as it has protein for you, as well as vitamin B12, which can only come from animal products, and can be consumed easily on the go too. So, if you’re wondering if Biltong is healthy, then click here to find out more.
To give your immune system a boost, it can be beneficial to eat organic food where you can, as well as eating foods that are in season. When you do this, the foods will naturally help to take care of your body and your immune system. Adding herbs and spices to your food can give your immune system a boost too. These things are known for their antibacterial and antiseptic properties, as well as making food taste great.
4: Get plenty of sleep
Our immune systems are strengthened during sleep, as our body uses that time to rest and to heal. If you are deprived of sleep, then it can lead to a weaker immune system. Most people should aim for eight hours of sleep each night, but you may need more or less, depending on circumstances, requirements, and age. If you always wake up feeling tired, then you should put a plan in place to make sure that you will be able to sleep better, like turning your phone off a couple of hours before bed, for example.
5: Reduce stress
This can definitely be something that is easier said than done; however, it is something that is important to consider. Stress can increase how susceptible we are to illness, and if you are someone who is quite easily stressed, then you are more likely to fall ill more often. So, look for ways to relax. Often you can’t change something like your job that is stressful, but you can change how you react. Mediate, nap, exercise, stretch or read. Find something that will work for you.
6: Wash your hands often
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, is that we all need to wash our hands more than we think we do! Dirty surfaces that we touch and then spread to other surfaces is what can really spread germs and viruses around. So, we need to carry on washing out hands as often as possible. Alcohol hand sanitizer can be helpful to eliminate germs when you can’t get to a sink.
7: Steer clear of toxins
There are many toxins that we can come into contact with on a daily basis, but there are some that we can control, such as the toxins in our own home. If you use a lot of cleaning products that are toxic in your home, then they can weaken your immune system. That is why it is best to use green cleaning products around the home. Not only will it benefit your home, but also you and your body.
There are some extra vitamins that can help us at this time of year. It can be hard to get everything that we need from foods, especially if we have some specific dietary requirements. However, vitamin supplements like vitamin C, echinacea, zinc, and vitamin D are all helpful for helping your immune system in winter. Probiotic supplements can also be good for your gut health, which helps immunity.
9: Limit alcohol intake
Winter is a time for fun and festivities, but do you need to drink each time? If you want to help your immune system, then reducing your alcohol intake is important. Alcohol is something that can suppress your immune system. And if you are going to be socialising and mixing with other people, you don’t want to have a suppressed immune system when there are cold and flu germs doing the rounds. There are plenty of alternatives, so give them a try instead.
10: Look after your gut
Your gut health has a lot to do with your immune system, so it is important to look after it. There are natural bacteria in your gut, but they need to stay healthy, in order to do what they are in there to do. So, you can support bacteria in your gut by consuming probiotic-rich foods like natural yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha.