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8 Ways to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season

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With winter approaching fast, many people are looking for ways to boost their immune systems. While some start to eat more fruits and vegetables, others develop an exercise routine or do their best to minimise stress. However, you can do many more things to make the immune system less susceptible to viruses and infections.

Getting enough sleep, shopping for supplements, fuelling up on water, and avoiding alcohol are perfectly valid ways to keep the body protected from environmental assaults. Whether it is rain or low temperatures, following these tips can ensure that you will survive winter without succumbing to the cold.

If you wish to learn more about the best healthy-living strategies, you came to the right place. Here, we take a closer look at them and provide information on how they can help you stay healthy. Let’s get started.

Eat healthy food

What you eat is a major factor when it comes to the health of your immune system. While most people typically turn to fruits and vegetables when they look for ways to boost their immunity, there are other foods that can be beneficial for the body. For instance, you can consume foods that contain probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that have been shown to improve immunity by promoting a strong immune response. 

Alternatively, you can try using supplements that are designed to boost the immune system. Most of these supplements are available over the counter and can be easily purchased at your local pharmacy or health store. If you want to find a better deal, you can find it online, for example by checking discounts for Healthspan products.

Avoid stress

Whether it is daily stress or a traumatic event, you should be aware that it can negatively affect your immune system. After all, the body and mind are linked and when you feel stressed, the immune system is affected. This means that it becomes harder to fight off infections and viruses which can lead to respiratory problems and infections such as the common cold.

If possible, you should try to manage your stress levels and if that is not possible, seek professional help. Be sure to get enough sleep and do not procrastinate or engage in unhealthy habits such as smoking.

Start exercising regularly

Exercise is not only good for your heart but also your immune system. In fact, research has shown that exercise can help decrease the risk of catching a cold or a flu-like virus. Furthermore, studies have revealed that exercise can even help prevent serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer. The bottom line is that you should make a habit of exercising regularly.

Practise deep breathing

When it comes to strengthening the immune system, deep breathing can help with that. In fact, when you breathe deeply, you send oxygen into the body which helps fight diseases. Just 10 minutes of deep breathing per day can help with this process. Simply breathe in deeply through your nose and hold it for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth. You can even do it while sitting at your desk or while watching TV.

Drink plenty of water

Many people drink water without realising the benefits it has on the body. It is true that drinking water can help you feel more energised and that it can help you lose weight, but what about its ability to protect you from diseases? There is evidence that water can help strengthen the immune system as well as protect against chronic conditions such as type II diabetes, arthritis, constipation, and even certain types of cancer. In fact, some doctors recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water per day to keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Eat plenty of probiotic foods

The gut deserves a special mention when it comes to strengthening the immune system because it is where a lot of the work happens. If you want a strong immune response, you need probiotic foods to promote a healthy gut environment that will help fight infections and viruses.

Some examples of probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, miso soup, and natto beans. When you consume these foods on a regular basis, the good bacteria will help create an environment where pathogens cannot survive and will keep the body free from disease-causing organisms.

Take vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth but did you know that it can also improve immunity? According to studies, low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of developing respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and other conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

To maintain healthy levels of vitamin D in the body, you may consider taking vitamin D supplements or getting some sun exposure which is one of the best sources of vitamin D since it is created by the body when exposed to sunlight.

Get enough sleep

You are probably aware that sleep is important for brain function, mood, and memory. However, what you might not know is that it is also important for the immune system. The body needs rest so that it can repair damage and fight off infections. Furthermore, the body produces white blood cells while sleeping which are crucial for fighting off infections.

If you do not get enough sleep, your immune system will be compromised, and you may be at risk of catching colds and other infections. Experts recommend getting about eight hours of sleep every night to promote health and wellness.

The bottom line

The winter months are hard on the immune system because you are exposed to cold weather. However, the body can be prepared for that by following some tips that will help strengthen it. Be sure to eat plenty of nutrients, avoid stress, practice deep breathing, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly.

You can also consume probiotic foods to boost immunity and take vitamin D supplements. If you want to boost your immune system even more, consider adding some herbs or foods that have been shown to improve immunity.

Keep in mind that there are other strategies worth trying in order to keep the body in great condition. Besides, if you feel that your immune system is not strong enough, you should consider getting professional help.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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