Earlier this month, I posted about the foods you should incorporate into your diet that will help strengthen your immune system over the Winter months. But food isn’t the be-all end-all when it comes to supporting your immune system, and today I wanted to share with you some other lifestyle tips to keep colds away this Winter.
Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight and protects against diseases. Exercise also contributes to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. One of the direct contributions exercise has on immune support is by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and efficiently. It’s hard to keep on top of exercise in Winter when it’s cold and wet outside so don’t be afraid to change up your routine to suit the cooler weather. It might be yoga indoors, a fun gym class or a walk with some friends to get you moving.
We know that people who suffer from chronic or long term stress can experience anxiety, depression and sleep problems, or at a risk of risk high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive problems. But another danger of stress is a weak immune system. Stress has a negative effect on the immune system as it creates inflammatory conditions and lowers immunity of those who might otherwise have a healthy immune function. Exercise such as yoga, and meditation are proven ways to decrease stress and important to incorporate into your lifestyle where you can.
Get Adequate Sleep
The relationship between lack of sleep and our immune system is not completely straightforward and still being researched, but enough evidence exists to try for a few extra Z’s where possible. A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived, and inflammatory cytokines go up, which could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu. Simply, sleep deprivation suppresses your immune function, meaning the less sleep you get the more likely your body’s ability to respond to a cold or flu is decreased. Ensure you switch of technology early at night to fall asleep well, and investigate herbal teas if you are having trouble sleeping.
If you want to know more my eBook, Simple Steps to Health, details more simple action steps you can take to lead a healthier lifestyle.