ways to protect the immune system

Protecting the Immune System as the Weather Cools

As the leaves change and the weather gets cooler, autumn brings with it a shift in our immune system. 

It’s an important time to take steps in protecting your immune system, to keep it strong during this time of year. 

Here are some of my helpful tips I practice in Autumn, to help safeguard my immune system

  1. Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for supporting your immune system. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats where possible. Incorporate seasonal produce such as pumpkin, squash, apples, and dark leafy greens, which are rich in immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. Avoid excessive sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy fats, as they can weaken your immune system.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and support your immune system’s functions. Herbal teas, warm water with lemon or ginger, and homemade soups are also excellent options to stay hydrated during the cooler months of Autumn.
  3. Get Enough Sleep: A good night’s sleep is vital for a strong immune system. During Autumn, the days get shorter, and the nights get longer, which makes it an ideal time to prioritise quality sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate. Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a relaxing bedtime routine to promote restful sleep.
  4. Stay Active: Regular exercise is known to boost the immune system. Even as the temperatures drop, find ways to stay active and incorporate physical activity into your routine. You can go for brisk walks, practice indoor exercises like yoga or Pilates, or engage in seasonal outdoor activities like hiking or cycling. Exercise not only strengthens your immune system but also helps reduce stress and improves overall well-being.
  5. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. With the back-to-school season, work commitments, and holiday preparations, autumn can bring about stress. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy. Make self-care a priority to reduce stress and support your immune system.
  6. Wash Your Hands Regularly: Cold and flu viruses are easily transmitted through contaminated surfaces, so make it a habit to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, to prevent the entry of viruses into your body.
  7. Boost Your Vitamin D, C and Zinc Levels: During Autumn, with less sunlight exposure from spending more time indoors, your body’s vitamin D levels may decline. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement or incorporating foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and mushrooms, into your diet. Other immune boosting supplements are also C and Zinc.
  8. Get Enough Fresh Air and Sunshine: We are lucky enough to have mostly sunny days in Autumn, which means you are absolutely able to get plenty of frewsh air and sunshine during the cooler months. Fresh air and sunshine has been scientfically proven to help fight bacteria and keep the immune system healthy and running at optimum levels.
  9. Reduce Heater Time: If you spend a prolonged amount of time in a heated room, you can trigger an immune response when you go outside and your body is impacted severly by the cold – especially as Autumn rolls into Winter. When heating your living spaces, try and keep them at a regulated temp, and then switch off the heater, and wear warmer clothes so your body temp is shifting drastically between being too warm and then being too cold.

I am a freelance writer and content creator who designs website and manages social media. I also write travel and beauty for www.renaesworld.com.au, and a weekly beauty column for www.bondibeauty.com.au whilst managing my own personal travel and lifestyle blog at www.my-life-journal.com

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