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How to boost your immunity this winter 

With winter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to invest in your health and take steps to boost your immunity. 

The cold months are a challenge for our health because we tend to spend more time being inactive indoors, indulging in festive treats, and experiencing greater stress as our regular activities and groups pause because of dark nights and bad weather. But the good news is that it needn’t be difficult to get your health back on track and to ensure you avoid the worst of the bugs and viruses this year!

Try these techniques to put your immunity, and overall health, on the right path:

1. Focus on vitamins

We all know that natural, high-quality foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, nuts and seeds and meat are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. But it’s not always easy to get everything that you need and in the right amounts. For example, most of us rely on the sun for vitamin D, but this is hard to get from alternative food sources over winter.

Sensible supplementation can be a good alternative to safeguard your health. Look for a broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral that you can take with food to round out your diet and avoid any deficiencies. You may want to take an additional vitamin C and zinc high-strength supplement, and all adults are recommended to supplement with vitamin D in winter. Your local doctor’s surgery will have NHS vitamins which are affordable and balanced, and your chemist will also have plenty of options.

With supplementation, it’s still important to eat as much natural, fresh and nutritious food as you can. If you don’t tend to enjoy big meals, now is a great time for soups, casseroles, stew, porridge, fruit puree and other easy-to-eat, nutritious meals and dishes. 

2. Exercise regularly

Exercise works best when it’s something that you enjoy, so why not get outside, and have a walk? Even if it’s a short walk, you can benefit from natural light and fresh air, and build up your endurance over time. If you are chair bound, you can do chairobics either online or at your local leisure centre, using light weights to build up your muscles without needing to stand. 

Regular exercise is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being.

There are yoga classes, swimming, dance and other forms of exercise that are suitable for older people or people with reduced mobility. The key things to work on are your muscle strength and also flexibility, to avoid any issues with falls or strains. Even modest exercise 2-3 times a week will have a huge difference in your overall health and well-being.

3. Prioritise sleep

If you don’t sleep enough or as well as you should, your immune system will be compromised, and you may find yourself struggling to fight off colds and viruses. Practise good sleep hygiene; a consistent bedtime, a cool bedroom, no screens before bed and no caffeine or food within 3 hours of bedtime. 

Practicing good sleep hygiene can have a very positive effect
on your immune system.

Try reading or journaling before bedtime, and use a magnesium spray or Epsom bath salts if you struggle with cramps. A little lavender essential oil on your pillow can also be wonderfully calming.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Many of us forget to drink enough during the day or focus too heavily on diuretics such as tea and coffee which ultimately rob the body of hydration. Drink small glasses of plain or fruit-flavoured water during the day to top up your hydration levels. This can be a fast way to better energy, fewer headaches, better concentration, and easier appetite control, as well as better immunity.

5. Keep your stress levels low

Stress is also very damaging to your immune system, so try to manage it as much as possible. If you’re struggling to live alone and manage your daily tasks, why not consider independent living with on-site support within a safe environment? Residential homes and flats can be great options for older people or people with disabilities. Alternatively, why not look at getting a regular carer to call in each day? 

These five steps will help to boost you and keep you fighting fit over winter!

For help, speak
to one of our team
call 0333 331 3770

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