How immune are you to the numerous germs you encounter every day? Viruses and bacteria thrive when winter hits because people tend to spend more time indoors when it’s cold out. If your immune system is weak, you will most likely catch the latest “bug” going around. This winter, let’s try to maintain a strong immune system so we are able to enjoy the season with family and friends.
Here are some valuable tips to help reinforce your immune system:
- Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Rest has a huge impact on your immune system. Sleep deprivation will suppress your immune functions, thereby increasing your risk of becoming sick. If you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping comfortably through the night, a nutritional supplement providing melatonin and sleep-inducing herbs can help.
- Drink an adequate amount of water daily to avoid dehydration. When dehydrated, your body does not flush out the harmful toxins, which also increases your risk of becoming sick.
- Exercise regularly but reduce the intensity and duration when not feeling well. Moderate physical exercise lasting for roughly 20-30 minutes can help boost your body’s ability to prevent illness including the common cold.1 High intensity workouts when you are ill can actually depress your immune system making you feel worse. Yoga or tai chi are excellent forms of exercise for those who are looking to enhance their immune function during the winter.
- Wash your hands. Germs can lurk on most surfaces for up to 3 days and washing your hands is the best way to combat them.2 To ensure the germs are washed away, sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing your hands.
- Take nutritional supplements to support or help rejuvenate your immune system. Probiotics are great at helping maintain the integrity of the immune system by working to prevent pathogenic bacteria from colonizing in the body. For overall strengthening of your immune system, supplements with herbal blends have been proven to enhance general immunity and will give your body that extra advantage it may need over these winter months. If you happen to catch something nasty, a supplement with high amounts of protease enzymes in combination with a blend of immune enhancing herbs can help with symptoms of relief.
- Try to minimize stress levels. Stress releases corticosteroids into the bloodstream which decrease the number of white blood cells (lymphocytes), consequently reducing your body’s ability to fight off infectious agents.3 Spending time with family and friends, reading a book, and moderate physical activity are some simple ways to limit your stress.
We can all enjoy the winter and the festivities that come with it, just remember that your immune system can only get stronger with YOUR help!