Preparing your immune system for the fall and winter is a wise step to help protect yourself from common seasonal illnesses like colds and flu. Here are some strategies you can follow:
Maintain a Balanced Diet:
As it gets colder, comfort food calls to us all. But don’t forget to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients. Include foods rich in vitamins C and D, as these can help support your immune system.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help your body function properly. Pro tip: thirst isn’t always a reliable early sign that your hydration level is falling. Oftentimes, by the time you’re feeling thirsty, you are in the dehydration zone. Along with water, herbal teas and clear broths can also be good choices.
Get Regular Exercise:
Keep yourself moving on a regular basis! Engaging in regular physical activity helps improve circulation, boost mood, and support overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Adequate rest is crucial for a healthy immune system.
Stress may seem like an abstract idea, but it can wreak measurable havoc on your body, including weakening your immune system. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to help manage your stress.
Practice Good Hygiene:
Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in public spaces. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements. Vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc are commonly recommended, but it’s important to ensure you’re taking them at the right doses for you.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol:
Smoking weakens the immune system, and excessive alcohol consumption can also impair immune function. Try to minimize or quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.
Consider Using Social Distancing and Hygiene Practices:
Continue following recommended public health guidelines, especially during cold and flu season, to reduce your risk of exposure to viruses.
Consider a Humidifier:
Dry indoor air during the colder months can make it easier for viruses to spread. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, which may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
Keep yourself updated on public health recommendations and guidelines, especially if there are outbreaks or new strains of viruses circulating.
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You are unique and so is your body! Before starting any new health routine, always be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for your needs.