5 Tips to Help you Slide Into Winter Wellness
There are a lot of ways we can be proactive about staying healthy, especially during the colder months. Here’s a quick list of five of our favourite tips to keep immune health top of mind this winter season.
1: Keep it real
Choose real, whole food options. Colourful vegetables filled with vitamins and minerals, quality sources of protein, healthy fat and fibre are all vital for proper immune function. Processed foods, alcohol, sugar and starches bog down your white blood cells' ability to battle germs, so pass on that box of candy and stick to only a glass or two of wine. Refined sugar can lead to inflammatory responses in the body which can suppress your immune function for up to 8-12 hours after indulging in sweets.
2: Stay hydrated
A combination of winter’s low humidity and overheating rooms can dry out nasal and throat passages, making airways more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Keeping well hydrated helps mucous membranes stay moist and help to keep undesirable bugs at bay. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight ounces of water every one to two hours during the day. You can always add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice or mix in a tasty effervescent drink that’s packed with mineral support to help alkalize your body and nourish your adrenal glands.
3: Ready set… rest!
Sometimes enjoying a bit of hibernation time in the winter is just what the body needs. It’s time to slow down, rest and recharge. Recharging looks different from person to person. It could mean getting an extra hour of sleep, getting outside in nature, or remembering to take your supplements! Managing stress really takes centre stage here. Chronic stress elevates cortisol which can impair the thyroid, immune function, sleep, and even digestion. Look for healthy ways to decompress this winter: go for a massage, take a hot bath, try out a new hobby, or learn to meditate with the help of an app.
Daily movement is a great way to care for your health; test out an online yoga class, or get outside for a winter hike. Exercise helps to stimulate immune function, manage stress, and improve overall mood - triple whammy! If you can’t find the time or energy to recharge you may benefit from supplementing with adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and Rhodiola, which can be helpful in lowering elevated cortisol and managing stress.
4: Be Proactive
Stock up on some of these natural remedies to support immune function. Being prepared with these on hand may help lessen symptoms should you get hit with a bug unexpectedly.
5: Laughter is the best medicine
Studies show that laughter boosts the immune system for at least 24 hours. A Harvard University study showed that watching violent tv and movie scenes tended to weaken the immune system, while a light, loving flick stimulated it! So don’t hold back from a good belly laugh when a hilarious opportunity presents itself!
Wishing you a healthy, happy winter season!