Here in Tennessee, as in many other parts of the world, Winter is a time of lower temperatures, seemingly less sunlight, erratic rain, sleet, ice, slurries and snow. These conditions often bring about health problems related to decreased or suppressed immune systems. The following are a few tips to help boost your immune system and support health and wellness during the winter.
- Wash Your Hands. This is especially important when you are constantly exposed to public places full of people, such as school, work, clinics, gyms, churches, etc. Washing your hands is the simplest, yet most effective way to maintaining cleanliness and a healthy immune system.
- Boost your nutrition with Vitamins D and B12. Vitamin D levels often drop in the winter, due to decreased exposure to sunshine. Vitamin D helps promote your immune system, helps regulate mood, regulate insulin levels and support diabetes management, help maintain bone strength and lung function. Vitamin B12 is essential for glucose metabolism, heart health and proper brain function.
- Go to Sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cripple your immune system, and there is no truth to the myth that you can “catch up on lost sleep”. Strive to get at least eight hours of sleep regularly. Children, teens, and the sick need even more sleep to maintain healthy immunity. Proper sleep hygiene, such as turning off all electronics a few hours before bed, also helps promote good sleep habits.
- Add Color to your Fruit and Veggie Palette. Part of the power behind the vibrant colors of various fruits and vegetables is due to their phytonutrients (like carotenoids and flavonoids), vitamins (such as A, C, D and E), and minerals (such as zinc and magnesium). Remember, nothing substitutes the benefits your body gets from a healthy diet.
- Exercise. Routine exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week helps regulate your blood sugar, cortisol levels, and other body mechanisms such as metabolism. These benefits help make for a stronger immune system and a healthier you.
If you’d like to know more about just a way to improve or increase your fruit, vegetable, mineral, and vitamin intake, contact me by email or voicemail. Be well this winter!