Whether the forecast is for frost or rain, these tips can help you avoid feeling under the weather and keep you on top form this winter.
When it's cold outside, it's tempting to turn up the thermostat and hibernate on the sofa. But research shows that gentle to moderate exercise, like a brisk walk, reduces inflammation and boosts your immune response.
Getting outside in the daylight helps to regulate your body clock and improves the quality of your sleep. However, from October to March, the UK sunshine isn't strong enough to produce all the vitamin D that you need. So you might want to talk to your GP to decide if a supplement during winter is appropriate to take to help boost bone health and protect against cold and flu.
A lack of sleep makes us more prone to catching colds and flu, so make sure you build in time to wind down in the evening. Switch off technology at least half an hour before bed and use a dimmer switch or sidelights in the evening. Listening to relaxing music can help to improve sleep quality too.
You can enjoy delicious comfort food and still get all the nutrition you need with hearty stews filled with roast winter vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, onions, brussels sprouts, peppers, beetroot and parsnips. Add some herbs like thyme or sage to pack an extra immune boosting punch.
Made too much? Blitz any leftovers in a blender for a warming winter soup to enjoy the next day.
Stress prepares your body to fight or run away. To do this, it redirects your internal resources away from your immune system. To help you stay stress-free, try learning a relaxing breathing technique, spend time with friends and loved ones and find time for the hobbies and activities you enjoy.
Take up yoga or Tai Chi
Why not try a slow and mindful practice like gentle yoga or Tai Chi to help you relax? Research shows these practices will also improve your balance, helping you to walk with confidence in the icy, wet weather. Chair yoga is a great option if you have limited mobility.
Your immune system works better when you're well hydrated. If it's cold outside, you may not feel like sipping water, so top up your mug with fruit or herbal tea, hot soup or warm water with a refreshing squeeze of lemon.
Look after your gut
70% of your immune system lives in your gut, so it makes sense to take care of it. Luckily, the other measures that help to boost your immunity, are also good for your gut – like getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating well and moving more.
Join a choir
According to research by the University of London, singing improves heart and lung function, boosts immunity and lifts your mood. Plus gathering together with a community is good for your mood and your health. It's even better when you laugh together too!
Need some support to get motivated?
Why not try one of our free courses such as Eat and exercise for energy, Supercharge your sleep or Mindfulness for beginners?
How CABA can help
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