8 Winter Immunity Tips

8 Winter Immunity Tips

Author -  Heidi Billington - Naturopath

This winter, check out our top immunity tips!

Winter doesn’t have to be the season you get sick! If we can keep our bodies functioning well, there is a good chance we can survive winter with no more than a sniffle... Below are a few handy tips to keep your immunity in tip-top condition this year.

  • Reduce Sugar. Eating or drinking too much sugar may suppress the immune system by dampening down the ability of the white blood cells to attack foreign invaders. Saying no to the sweet treats may help your body fend off those winter viruses.
  • Dress appropriately. It’s easy to be caught unprepared especially during the unpredictable Autumn months. Dressing in layers will keep you safe, whatever the weather. Wear two or three layers that can be put on or removed as appropriate. Always have a scarf or rain jacket handy so you can cover up when necessary.
  • Eat warming foods. When it’s cold outside, keep yourself warm from the inside out. Add in healthy, immune-supporting spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and clove whenever you can. Make yourself a big batch of hearty chicken soup, with plenty of garlic and turmeric, and sip your way to a healthier immune system!
  • Sweat at least 3 times a week. Whether your choice of sweating is a spin class, run along the beach or just a sit down in the sauna, it’s important to get the skin glowing. A good sweat helps remove impurities and toxins, which in turn helps keep your immune system fired up. Be sure to rehydrate afterwards.
  • Keep stress levels in check. Many studies have been carried out linking emotional stress to lowered immunity*. It’s important to be aware that how we manage our stress can impact how our immune system works. Deal with stressful issues before they have the chance to build up.
  • Take an immunity supporting supplement. There are many herbs and vitamins that help the immune system function better and supplements can be a good way to support the body against winter ills and chills. You can also get plenty of vitamin C and other antioxidants in your diet by eating colourful veggies and fruits.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. A dehydrated body is an unhealthy body and therefore may become more susceptible to viruses. Winter is the time we often forget to drink water like we would throughout summertime, but indoor heating systems can be just as dehydrating. Keep a bottle of room-temperature water nearby or if you need something warm, a cup of herbal tea is a good alternative. 
  • Rest when needed. Unless there is something which needs critical attention in your life, forget the old adage of “soldier on” whilst ill and “stop & rest” instead. Catching the signs early and giving your body a chance to rest and recover can stop a little sniffle from developing into something worse. Be kind to yourself – your body will thank you later.

Even though winter can be the time of year that many people prefer to forget, try to think of the positive reason for the season. Cold winter nights by the fire catching up with friends and family, winter sports and invigorating walks in fresh morning air that make you feel fully awake afterwards! Winter can be a truly beautiful time of year, so keep yourself warm, happy and healthy to make the most of it.

Thanks for reading our top immunity tips!

* Segerstrom SC, Miller GE, Psychological stress and the human immune system: A meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry, 2004 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/