Winter is coming (and I don’t just mean on Game of Thrones!).
Check out this guest post by writer Harper Reid from Auckland, New Zealand for tips on how to stay cold-free.
Winter – the season of watching the snow fall from your cozy position on the couch, drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire, wrapping yourself in soft, fluffy blankets, and near-constant sniffles and completely rational fears of contracting the latest flu strain from your friends and co-workers. If you’re wondering how to boost your immune system in an attempt to avoid illness this winter, try the following five tips:
1. Eat well
You can’t expect your body to function as well as possible if you’re not giving it the fuel it needs to do its job. All year round – but especially in winter – try your best to fill your plate with as many fresh vegetables as possible and choose natural snacks over processed food whenever you can. Try warm, immune-boosting noodle soup for a tasty meal!
2. Partake in steam therapy
You can trace the origins of the steam bath all the way back to Ancient Roman times. A deliciously hot, steamy bath is a great way to boost your immune system and help you relax at the same time. Sweating encourages your body to produce white blood cells, which are a major component of your immune system and help to fight infections. Plus, you’ll feel more refreshed than you ever thought possible after a long steam session. Our ancestors certainly knew a good thing when they found it – after thousands of years, steam therapy remains an enjoyable, worthwhile experience that helps us endure those cold winter months.
3. Keep your body moving
Staying active will help your body stay in peak condition during winter, meaning it’ll be easier to fight off any infections. If you’re finding it difficult to summon up the energy to leave the house during those cold, dark days, rest assured that you don’t have to. Why not dance around your living room or follow an aerobics routine instead? You might even like to involve the whole family – it might feel a little embarrassing, but it’ll be worth it, both as a bonding experience and for your health!
4. Limit your time in cold spaces
It’s easier said than done, but if you can limit your time spent outside in the cold or in drafty buildings, you’ll be doing your body and your immune system a favor. Bathrooms are some of the worst culprits for cold, miserable mornings in winter – ever dreaded getting out of the shower on a cold day? You’re not alone. Why not make your shower time more pleasant by installing a quality bathroom heater that’ll make getting out of the shower enjoyable and relaxing rather than a traumatic experience? You’ll also partake in a form of steam therapy in your own home.
5. Take a hot bath every once in a while
What better way to relax during winter than a hot bath, filled with Epsom salts and your favourite naturally scented bath bombs? Epsom salts are thought to help relieve all kinds of aches and pains, while scented bath bombs can help soothe both your body and mind. Taking a hot bath isn’t only relaxing, it’s good for your immune system, as elevated temperatures can help it to function more smoothly. If you’re already sick, taking a hot bath can still help: Hot water and steam can dry out the mucus in your throat, helping you to breathe more easily.
Often, illness during winter feels inevitable. However, if you treat your body right and take steps to boost the function of your immune system, you may be able to make it through winter unscathed. These tips – especially regarding eating well and exercising – will also improve your general health, so why not try them this winter?
Daily exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night helps Harper Reid survive the winter blues and the flu. You’ll also often catch her enjoying a steaming cup of hot chocolate on chilly autumn afternoons! To know more about Harper, check out her Tumblr page.
Photo source: Unsplash