As winter approaches and flu season lurks, it’s time to start getting proactive about our health and immunity.
We’ve put together a few ideas on simple lifestyle considerations that can help support your immune function and keep illness at bay.
In the colder months, it’s tempting to eat more “comfort foods” that may be lower in nutritional value. Make sure you are having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality protein and whole grain foods.
Don’t forget to drink enough water. Often in winter we forget to drink enough because it isn’t hot but the body still benefits from those eight glasses per day.
Be sun safe all year round, but ensure you are spending some time outside to keep up adequate Vitamin D levels. Researchers believe that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back should result in sufficient Vitamin D levels. Adults over the age of 70 may need more assistance with this so talk to your doctor about recommended levels.
Washing hands is an important part of keeping well so do this after visiting the bathroom and before eating.
Stress can have a massive impact on the immune system as well as most other systems in the body so don’t be afraid to look into a stress reduction technique that works for you. This may be as simple as going for a walk or running a warm bath. There are hundreds of ways of letting off steam so at least one is bound to gel with you.
Research indicates that a lack of sleep affects how well the immune system functions, as well as affecting general moods and brain health. Try to get 7–9 hours a night.
Nourish the Outside
Bacteria has a higher likelihood of entering the body through cracked skin, which can be caused by increased washing with heavy detergents or alcohol based sanitizers. Keeping your skin moisturized is essential during winter to ensure relief from dry and cracked skin or red and inflamed skin, and to help hands rehydrate and prevent further drying.
Enjoy Regular Exercise
Many people notice joint pain increases during colder weather, but research has shown that engaging in some gentle exercise can keep your joints supple, decreasing pain and increasing range of movement. If you can brave the outdoors, even better: research indicates that exercising outdoors leads to better emotional wellbeing.
Supplement with high quality natural products where necessary.
Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract delivers powerful free radical scavenging ability, and helps to support the immune system. Studies have shown that Comvita’s Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract contains five times the antioxidants of the equivalent amount of Vitamin C. You can take it straight, or mix it in to your morning juice or smoothie.
Propolis is also a great supplement during the cooler months. Bees use propolis to protect their hive from infection. For this reason, Propolis is known as ‘nature’s best defence’. Propolis is made by bees from the natural sap and resins found at the site of plant injury. This resin is particularly high in natural flavonoids, which are an essential part of the plant’s defence system. Honey bees gather the flavonoid-rich resin, and mix in beeswax and enzymes, to create Propolis. Then they use the Propolis to seal and protect their hive against viral, bacterial and fungal infections. We’ve learned from this natural intelligence, and use Propolis as a key ingredient in many of our immune health products.
Do you have any tips for staying well naturally? Share them!