Protecting your Immunity in Winter
It’s that time of year again where every day feels colder than the last and our heaters are working over-time. Everyone’s favourite season… Winter! So, I think it’s time we have a chat about protecting yourself and your immunity in the winter.
Winter can pose unique challenges to the body due to the cold weather, lack of sun exposure, and time spent indoors. The constant cold, wind and rain and lack of Vitamin D is a recipe for a weakened immune system. No wonder they call it cold and flu season!
So how do we protect the immune system during the winter months?
To make up for the sunlight were not getting, we should consider taking Vitamin D or upping the dosage for those already taking it. Vitamin D is crucial for our immune health and supporting our immune function to protect us from getting sick.
Cold weather can make us less aware of our thirst. So, a lot of us are probably a bit dehydrated at the moment without realising it. Maintaining proper hydration helps support immune function and promotes the optimal functioning of mucous membranes (like the ears, nose, mouth, throat and lungs). These membranes act as barriers against pathogens. Sipping on some warm water or tea throughout the day can help hydrate us and keep us warm.
Colder weather might mean that we’re less inspired to go outside and be active. But, maintaining regular movement is needed to promote immune and respiratory health. Even if it means doing a little workout at home.
Exposure to cold can increase oxidative stress on the body. Try to consume a variety of antioxidant-rich foods such as colourful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and teas. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals that help support immune function and protect against cellular damage.
Manage stress levels
Winter can bring additional stressors, including heatings bills and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). High levels of stress can negatively impact immunity as the body’s survival mode can suppress immune function. Prioritise stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
Cold temperatures can make us more prone to sleep disruptions. So it’s time to get the extra doona out and aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Adequate sleep supports immune function, helps regulate hormones, and allows the body to repair and regenerate.
By taking proactive steps to support your immune system during winter, you can minimise the risk of getting sick and maintain optimal health throughout the season!
Stay Warm and well,