FIGHTING OFF ILLNESS
As we are heading into the colder months, it is the time of year we often see an increase in illness as the weather changes. Here are some tips to help your body fight off illness this winter:
We have all been told numerous times about the importance of staying hydrated.
There are many benefits in keeping your body hydrated, including fighting off illness. Water is a critical component of the fluid which carries infection-fighting white blood cells around your body, called Lymph.
Therefore, if you’re dehydrated it slows the circulation of lymph, which in turn can affect your immune system.
Another health and wellness tip we hear often is ‘get enough sleep!’ Life is busy and we often prioritise other things in the evening than sleep. Sleep is crucial for the body to repair and regenerate so if we aren’t getting enough sleep our body is not in a position to fight off illness as well as if we were well rested with 7-9 hours sleep a night. Consistency in your sleep pattern is also key in giving your body the tools it needs to be fighting fit!
Next time you think ‘just one more episode’, or ‘let me just check something on Instagram’, stop yourself and think of the extra sleep you could get instead. This sleep will help keep your immune system in better condition to fight off the winter bugs!
When our bodies are in a stressful situation it initiates a stress response to help us to handle the situation. However, one of the ways in which this stress response works is by supressing your immune system. Not ideal when you are trying to fight off illness!
Life is stressful so we cannot completely remove all of the causes of stress in our lives. However, you can take steps to reduce your stress and tension levels by taking some down time to enjoy reading, a good walk, some meditation, exercise – whatever helps bring your stress response down and feel at peace.
We all know exercise is good for our health. But how can we use exercise to help fight off illness?
Well, did you know that studies have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can help stimulate your immune system and improve circulation (which helps transport immune-boosting cells around your body)?
Now you do! This doesn’t mean you need to be out running like Mo Farah every day, just a brisk 30 minute walk could help to boost your immune system and help you fight off illness.
There is no surprise with this one. A healthy and balanced diet is fundamental to a strong immune system. Making sure you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, alongside your lean protein and healthy fats will mean your body is getting the nutrients it needs to support a healthy immune system.
If you suspect your body is not getting the necessary nutrients from your diet you can look to multivitamins and supplements for a boost. It is, however, always better to get what you can naturally from your diet!
Other tips for fighting off illnesses this winter include not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and good hand hygiene.
We hope you can follow these tips to stay fighting fit this winter!