As winter brings shorter and colder days, you’re more prone to catching illnesses like colds or the flu. Here are eight easy ways to strengthen your immune system so that you can stay healthy this winter.
Wash Your Hands
It may seem obvious, but washing your hands is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ward off disease. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. Be sure to wash your hands before eating or preparing food, after using the bathroom and after blowing your nose.
If you want your immune system to be strong enough to fight off infection and viruses, you need to provide it with the fuel to do so. Be sure to eat a nutrient-rich diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. Additionally, avoid refined sugar, fried food and foods high saturated and trans fats.
Take Vitamins and Supplements
On a similar note, taking vitamins supplements can give your body important nutrients that it doesn’t get from food. For example, vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc have been shown to decrease the likelihood of contracting viruses. Additionally, looking up prebiothrive customer reviews can help you find the best supplement for your dietary needs. Supplements can offset nutrient deficiencies by providing your body with extra nourishment.
Water is an essential player in almost all of your body’s processes. For an easy way to calculate how many cups of water you should drink a day, divide your weight by two to get the number of ounces of water, and then divide by eight to get the total number of cups. If you find it difficult to drink a lot of water, try supplementing with smoothies or herbal tea.
Although it may be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise in the cold winter months, it can do wonders for your health. If it’s too cold to go outside, consider exercising at home by using a treadmill, stairs or simply dancing along to your favorite music. Exercising just 30 minutes a day can improve heart health and decrease cancer risk.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
It’s just as important to set aside daily time to relax and recharge as it is to exercise. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be as easy as taking deep breaths and checking in with your body to see where you’re unintentionally holding tension. These simple exercises can lower cortisol levels, which can decrease your body’s stress levels and increase its immune response.
In addition to keeping your immune system healthy to prevent infection, it’s also important to protect your body from the elements. Be sure to bundle up when you’re outdoors to prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Some common symptoms of frostbite include tingling in the extremities, waxy-looking skin and muscle stiffness, while some symptoms of hypothermia are fatigue, confusion and slurred speech. Frostbite and hypothermia are potentially serious conditions, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the signs and seek medical help if needed.
Get Enough Sleep
You’ve probably heard it before, but getting eight hours of sleep a night is crucial for your immune system to function at its best. Because it gets darker earlier in the winter, it’s natural to go to bed a little earlier than you would in the spring or summer. Not getting enough sleep can make you feel run-down, as you probably know from experience. Protecting your body by allowing it to recharge is one of the most effective ways to fight illness.
By taking care of your body through healthy eating, self-care and exercise, you’ll provide your body with the fuel it needs to ward off viruses. Following these simple tips can help you stay healthy during the winter and give you more time to enjoy your favorite activities.