While nothing can completely stop a cold in its tracks, a healthy immune system can help ward off the germs that cause colds and the flu. A healthy immune system can even minimize a cold’s duration
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can provide a challenge during the cold months. As the temperature drops, it’s tempting to abandon our healthy eating habits and exercise regimen for comfort food and huddling indoors.
However, keeping well-nourished is important in keeping our immune system firing and to ward off winter bugs. Following these tips can help you stay healthy through winter.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which can boost your immune system. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are great to make hot stewed fruit or soups and casseroles – perfect warming foods for a cold winter’s day.
Watch your portion sizes.
To avoid a winter waistline try using a smaller plate, filling half your plate with vegetables, and avoiding distractions (like the TV) at meal times. Try to reduce ‘non-hungry eating’ by asking yourself whether you are actually hungry or whether instead you might be looking to food because you are bored or tired.
Even when it’s cold out, you still need to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day. Remember that a warm cup of non-caffeinated tea counts!
Enjoy some sunshine.
The shorter days in winter mean we get less exposure to the sun, which can lead to a drop in vitamin D and serotonin. This drop can affect our mood and we may be more inclined to reach for high calorie comfort foods to make us feel better temporarily. This in turn impacts our immunity. Try spending some time outdoors during your lunch break or go for a quick walk before or after work.
Put your layers on and head outside for a walk or find an indoor sport or exercise class you enjoy. Increase your incidental exercise by taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking further away from your destination.