How to Boost Your Immune System for the Winter
The holiday season is upon us, but so is cold and flu season. Staying healthy as temperatures drop and daylight hours are reduced is a challenge. Coldness can stress the body while having less access to the sun can weaken your immune system, and staying indoors makes you more susceptible to picking up germs.
Luckily, staying healthy doesn’t have to be complicated — immune-boosting habits can be as simple as taking care of your basic physical needs.
Here are five everyday, healthy habits that can keep your immune system strong:
- Eat nutritious foods: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and fruit (especially citrus) will help keep your immune system strong and fuel your day.
- Get enough sleep: Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Try to create a sleep schedule that allows your body to get into a natural rhythm, so you are refreshed the next day.
- Stay hydrated: It’s important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, during the winter to prevent dehydration. But did you know that warm liquids are also hydrating and can help to thin mucus and improve your respiratory function? If that’s your speed, consider stocking up on your favorite soups and teas.
- Keep a regular fitness routine: Regular exercise is important for overall health, but it can also help boost your immune system by increasing circulation and reducing stress hormones. Even something as simple as a daily walk can make a difference.
- Unwind: It’s easy to let your obligations pile up during the winter, so it’s important to take some time for yourself and relax when you can. Consider taking a hot bath, reading a good book, or doing 10 minutes of meditation to de-stress and stay healthy this season.
- Of the five healthy habits listed above, which one are you best at doing? Do you think this habit helps you stay healthy?
- What are some healthy habits you could include in your life that would help you feel better and stronger?