Want to be cold free this Winter? Four ways to boost your immune system now

Another Winter is on its way – but are you prepared? Yes you might have your defreeze in the car boot, and your oil tank full but what about the engine that keeps it all ticking over – your immune system – how prepared will you be this Winter?

Colds and sore throats stop us in our tracks and often take us out of our busy lives for a few days without any notice – making the juggle between home, work and family all the more hectic. This Winter you can aim to be cold free by boosting your immune system now, here are four ways to help you do just that.

1. Eat well

It’s not rocket science – but here’s the thing, it actually works. We’re not suggesting you do a massive overhaul of your eating habits, a few small steps in the right direction can make a big difference. Adding an extra piece of fruit into your lunchbox every day is a good start – try to pick a citrus fruit like an orange or satsuma as they are high in Vitamin C which is particularly beneficial for a strong immune system.

Add some green leafy veg too, as these are loaded with fibre and nutrients – broccoli, spinach and cabbage in particular are full of essential vitamins and antioxidants that boost immune system functioning. A simple start but a great one!

2. Sleep

Over the last few years there have been numerous studies suggesting that poor sleeping patterns or sleep deprivation has a hugely negative effect on the immune system, and it makes sense. In fact a recent study from the University of Washington suggests that a lack of sleep is leading to immune system suppression and a subsequent rise in illness. So how much do we need? Aim for 8 hours – anything less and you’ll have a harder time not only with your immune system but also managing your weight and retaining a good memory. Of course eight hours sleep is the ideal but it’s not always achievable, making a conscious effort to get better sleep if not more is a good start. Leaving your mobile device outside the bedroom at night will help you to do this.

3. Exercise

Finding time for exercise can be difficult, especially nowadays when we’re so time poor. However as part of our fight against colds and flus, it’s extremely important that we fit even a little bit of exercise into our day. The good news is that just moving more is perfectly acceptable – you don’t need to have a black belt in a fancy martial art, just aim to get your 10,000 steps done and you’re on the way to a top grade immune system this Winter.

4. Smoke and Drink less

It’s a no-brainer really, but the damage that smoking and drinking can do to our immune systems is untold. In actual fact as well as leading to many more serious health issues they often bring on both colds and flus. Striving to do both of these less will help you to have a much stronger immune system this Winter and beyond.

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