By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
The weather is getting cooler, and stuffy noses and coughs (as well as flu viruses) are all around us. Keeping your immune system boosted is one of the most important things you can do to help stay healthy. Here are five key strategies — as well as some immune-boosting foods and recipes — to help keep you healthy this cold and flu season.
While exercise in excess can dampen the immune system, it is super important to move and be active to help boost the immune system and prevent the common cold. Most of us should aim for at least 30 minutes four to five times weekly. Looking for inspiration? Try one of these workouts:
Vegetables are full of healthy nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, which are great for the immune system. They’re also free from processed and added ingredients that can dampen the immune system and be taxing on our bodies — I’m referring, of course, to the processed sugars, chemicals and additives that get in the way of immune health. One of the very best ways to include more vegetables in your diet is to participate in our Guided Reboot programs.
Some foods are known to help your immune system stay healthy. Try to include these ones in your diet regularly:
Sleep is absolutely crucial for a healthy immune system. It gives your body time to rest and recover and helps to promote a healthy immune system. Aim for seven to eight hours nightly. If you need to or can, take a few naps. Get tips on how to get a better night’s sleep.
Hand hygiene — which is just a fancy way to say washing your hands — is the number one most important thing when it comes to preventing the common cold. Practicing good hand hygiene helps to prevent you spreading germs from anything you touch both to yourself and others. Practice the age-old trick of washing your hands while singing happy birthday or the ABC’s (of course in your head). Washing for long enough allows you to get into all the nooks and crannies in between your fingers and on your hands where germs may be hiding that can make you sick.