Winter’s well and truly on its way – and so are those pesky cold and flu bugs. Keep them at bay with our top tips
It may be chilly outside and the comfort of your warm duvet may seem so much more inviting, but staying active this winter will help you avoid the usual sniffles and chesty coughs. Exercising – even just moderately – helps you keep your immune system active and those colds at bay, so make sure you keep up with your gymclasses!
Break a sweat
A great way to eliminate the toxins and germs that can accumulate and result in viruses is to encourage your body to sweat them out quicker. So why not treat yourself to some time in your gym’s sauna or, even better, sign up to a Bikram yogaclass? Bikram will not only help eliminate these toxic wastes, but will give your body a total workout as well. Win-win!
Add some ginger
Packed full of antioxidants, ginger is fantastic for preparing you for the winter months and keeping your immune system strong. Whether you add it to stir-fries, chop it up on lunchtime salads or even drink it with lemon and hot water, its powerful anti-inflammatory components will help to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Get your vitamin D fix
With the days getting shorter our exposure to the sun (the body’s main source of vitamin D) decreases. As a result, our body becomes deficient in this vital nutrient, so its ability to produce the components we need to battle infections declines. A trip to sunnier climes would be a lovely way to rectify this, but chowing down on oily fish and eggs can also help to keep levels high.
Get your zzzs
Sleep is essential for your body to repair itself. So make sure you’re getting enough to keep your body in good nick and help you combat winter viruses. Seven to nine hours a night is ideal, so try to hit the hay at a decent hour!
Did you know zinc is also crucial for your immune system? So instead of just reaching for the orange juice this winter, indulge in a hearty lean red meat dinner or add plenty of green, leafy veg to up your zinc intake.
While the winter chill may have you reaching for tasty hot chocolates and creamy chai lattes to warm you up, it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated with water. Flushing out harmful toxins, water is vital for boosting your immune system and helps your body fight off viruses. So drink up!
Meditation could help to reduce your chance of catching a cold. According to researchers from the University of Wisconsin it could reduce your risk by 40-50 per cent! Meditation helps control stress levels, which have a heavy impact on the immune system . So make time to clear your head this month.
Cook with garlic
Despite its smell, garlic is well worth including in your diet, as it’s jam-packed with components that are fantastic for strengthening your immune system.
Stay away from the sofa
When researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh exposed participants to a cold virus, they found that people who went out with friends and exercise buddies were less likely to get sick than those who stayed home. So say yes to those invites and hit the town with friends!