Autumn is notorious as the season of colds and flu. As the days get darker, we tend to feel a bit more rundown and tired than usual, which is when cold weather bugs can strike. Luckily, there are many ways to fend off autumn viruses and colds, and keep your immune system fighting fit during the colder months.
Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep can work wonders for your health. Make sure you get into a regular sleeping routine and give your body plenty of time to rest, restore and rejuvenate. Getting into some healthy sleep habits during autumn can help to make sure you get the best sleep possible. Try turning off all your electronics an hour before you head to sleep and set yourself a strict sleep schedule.
Consider the flu jab
There’s a reason the flu jab is offered around autumn; this is when we’re at our most vulnerable to the ever-changing flu bug. Pregnant women, older people and those with certain medical conditions can get it for free, but even if you don’t fall under any of these categories, it’s still worth your time and will only set you back around £20.
Spend time with your loved ones
Studies have shown that hugging family and friends is a great mood booster and stress buster, which in turn is beneficial to your immune system. Stress is a number one culprit when it comes to feeling a little rundown and it can actually weaken the immune system.
Feeling stressed? Find out more about it here.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your immune system, and kicking the habit will give your cold fighting abilities a much-needed boost. This is because smoking actually promotes inflammation and increases healing times, making it harder for your body to fight the symptoms of colds and flu.
We’re here to help you kick the habit for good. Here are our top tips for quitting smoking.
Wash your hands
It might sound obvious, but washing the germs away can have a massive impact on your health. Carry a hand sanitiser for when you’re out and about and make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before handling food.
Moderate exercise is a great way to keep your body working the way it should; you should aim for about five 30-minute cardio sessions a week and two strength-training sessions, be that a weight session or a Pilates class. Don’t overdo it, though. Too much exercise and not enough rest can actually have the opposite effect on your health; your body needs a break!
Get inspired and be more active with these health boosting sports.
Ginger and turmeric are both great spices that will give your system a mini-detox. Both are tried and tested, all-natural healing remedies that boost your immune system and keep you up and running during the colder months.
Boost your vitamin A intake
Vitamin A is another miracle nutrient for the immune system. It plays a major role in keeping skin, your body’s protective barrier, healthy and healed, meaning you’ll have an impenetrable first line of defence against bacteria, viruses and other germs. Sweet potatoes, carrots and squash are great for providing vitamin A, and they’re already autumn favourites!
Try our sweet potato and carrot soup recipe for a perfect winter warming, immune loving meal.
Treat your tummy
Believe it or not, your gut is actually a vital part of your immune system, and your digestive health plays a big role in keeping the rest of your body fit. We all need probiotics to keep our digestive system ticking over and the good bacteria found in these can help to reduce inflammation and the severity of colds and flu. They can be found in probiotic yoghurts and fermented foods, but it doesn’t hurt to take a supplement over the colder months.
As always, please visit your GP to discuss how to keep your immune system healthy over the colder months. Here’s to a healthy, sniffle free autumn!