With temperatures dropping and days growing shorter, our immune systems naturally become more susceptible to developing colds and flu. Reduced exposure to sunshine can also cause a drop in vitamin D and serotonin production, making some of us more lethargic and tired than usual.
Fortunately, there are a few healthy habits and tips we can use to keep our bodies strong through the upcoming cooler season.
1. Keep your fitness up!
In the winter months, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to cosy up under a big blanket and flip through Netflix, and although it's perfectly acceptable to rest and unwind, exercise can sometimes take a prolonged leave of absence. However, exercise is critical to maintain the health of our bodies and minds as it boosts our immune system and improves our mood.
If the sound of a blisteringly cold run in the park does not sound appealing (and rightly so!), opt for a pilates or aerobic workout in the gym or squeeze in a home workout with the help of a Youtube video or App.
2. Drink plenty of water and get adequate rest.
It goes without saying, but staying hydrated is absolutely key to keeping our bodies feeling their best. Staying hydrated not only helps us feel more energetic but it also strengthens our immune system.
Drinking adequate water is crucial throughout the year, but you’d probably be surprised to learn that this is particularly important in winter as our bodies can become dehydrated more easily in this time due to lower humidity levels. Sipping on a herbal tea will have the added benefit of keeping you warm as well as hydrated!
Adequate sleep is another non-negotiable winter habit to strive for. The human body requires adequate rest and sleep to function properly and to keep us strong. Sleep strengthens your immune system, speeds up the recovery process if you do get sick, and generally helps the immune system perform more efficiently.
3. Eat immune-boosting foods or reach for a high-quality multivitamin.
Finally, eating a wide variety of healthy, fresh, and unprocessed meals rich in vitamins and minerals is one of the most effective immune-boosting strategies to adopt in the coming months (and beyond!).
In particular, reach for foods high in Vitamin C such as capsicums, oranges, or broccoli, foods that contain Zinc such as nuts and seeds, and plant-based sources of Iron such as beans, lentils and spinach.
Because some nutrients might be harder to obtain, a high-quality multivitamin such as Essential 8 can be a powerful insurance policy in keeping your immune system strong through the colder months.