Now that we’re well and truly into spring, many of us are enjoying the warmer weather, longer days, and fresh blooms that this season of new beginnings brings.
But, spring is actually a peak season for the common cold – largely due to the increase in seasonal allergies.
Luckily, we don’t have to surrender – there are plenty of things we can do to boost our immunity, and minimise the risk of infection.
While many of us know the basics – things like washing our hands often, keeping distance from anyone who is sick, and maybe even opting to wear a mask when we’re out and about, there are plenty of other wellness strategies that can play an equally important role in maintaining our health and wellbeing, and helping us avoid coughs and colds.
But, what exactly are they?
Well, one of them is sleep!
When it comes to our health, sleep is commonly known as our ‘armour’, as it is a regenerative process, that helps to strengthen our T cells (our natural immune cells).
That’s why a good night’s sleep (ideally, 7-8 hours every night for adults), should be a priority.
With busy lifestyles, seemingly endless to-do lists, and the constant connectivity of smartphones, we know that this may sound like a faraway reality – but, by not getting in enough sleep, we’re creating an uphill battle for our immune system – leaving us vulnerable to illness.
Improving sleep often starts by focusing on our sleep hygiene – that is, our habits, routines, and sleeping environment. Even basic, steps, such as having a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding using technology in bed, can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s also important that we find ways to remain physically active.
Exercise promotes good blood circulation – which then enables the cells and substances of our immune system to move freely through our bodies, for effective functioning.
That’s exactly why we should all be engaging in some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes every day – even if it’s just a walk around the office during lunch, or the block when you arrive home!
And finally, we should also be ensuring that we’re maintaining a nutritious diet.
By consuming nourishing, immune-boosting foods, like citrus fruits, broccoli, ginger and yoghurt, we can prime our body to fight infection and disease. Plus, getting lots of fibre, through vegetables, cereals, and whole-foods, can also stimulate our immune system – helping us to stay strong and healthy.
That’s why there’s no better time than now to start reading food labels and opting for healthier, nutrient-rich, whole-food alternatives to our usual choices in the supermarket!
Overall, while these three strategies represent a starting point for boosting our immunity and helping us avoid bugs and viruses, staying healthy is more than just practising a few good techniques here and there.
Our bodies work hard to keep us well – which is why it’s so important we do all we can to support and enable optimal functioning. To explore more tips and tricks for strengthening immunity and maintaining overall health and wellbeing, come and see your friendly team of health professionals at Ranolf Medical Centre today.