The chilly season is here. It’s a season that is often laced with sniffs, sneezes and a lot of Kleenex – and nothing could be worse for any active person than being stuck in bed and sick.
When temperatures drop, you are most susceptible to falling ill – time to take precautions. This very useful list of tips to boost your immune system will help you reduce your chances of picking up viruses, and importantly, keep you staying active.
Ease up on the stress
Stress forces your adrenal glands to churn out adrenaline and cortisol. Long-term stress chips away at the strength of your immune system. Try doing things that relax you, even if it’s a few extra minutes at training doing mobility work, and make a significant effort to worry less.
Get more sleep
Make sure that you are getting enough shut-eye. A lack of sleep causes you to feel fatigued, irritable, weakens your immune system and increases inflammatory chemicals that will cause you to feel sick.
Cut down on alcohol
Alcohol is known to weaken your immune system. It also dehydrates the body, damages your liver and the rest of the endocrine system.
Consume helpful bacteria
The intestinal, lower urinary and upper respiratory tracts contain beneficial micro-organisms that strengthen immune function. This type of bacteria is also found in live-cultured products such as yoghurt and sauerkraut.
Get in your vitamins
Vitamins such as A, B6, C, D and Zinc helps the body to ward off infection. Try eating foods high in these vitamins or alternatively speak to your pharmacist about a good vitamin supplement. Many of these vitamins can be found in the foods listed in the article, ten energy boosting foods you should be eating.
Become more sociable
Having a solid social relationship is great for both your physical and mental health. When you feel isolated or lonely, certain genes that control the immune system are hindered.
Physical activity is known to strengthen the immune system. Exercising for 20 minutes for about three times a week will have a positive effect on your immune system. It also increases endorphins which improve your sense of well-being.
Eat more protein
The antibodies that assist in fighting off disease consist of protein. Many foods that have high protein levels also contain other immune-boosting nutrients. Diets such as the Paleo Diet could be highly beneficial in this regard as they are protein-rich.
Drink more water
Make sure you are getting enough water. By drinking more water, you will energise your muscles, improve bowel function, and balance out your body’s fluid levels, which all impact on an improved immune system.
While there is no deterrent that is 100% effective in terms of you never contracting the flu (or similar), these simple lifestyle changes will significantly lower your chances of falling prey to getting ill.
Do you find yourself getting sick, especially during winter? What other methods have you tried that bolster your immune system?