It’s important that coming into the cold and flu season we all do what we can to boost our own immunity. There’s no need to completely change your life and buy dozens of supplements and potions – you can make small changes to improve your overall health, one small step at a time.
Here are 6 simple substitutions to help you be healthier with a stronger immune system.
Have one less cigarette a day
We’re not here today to tell you to ‘give up smoking’ because if you smoke, you probably hear that all the time already. But we are going to ask you to have one less cigarette each day. The easiest way to do that is to skip your first smoke of the day. For some that will be as soon as you wake up, for others it’s when you come home from work. Some of you might only smoke when you drink. Regardless, cut back on that first cigarette. That means you’ll have 7 less smokes a week, 30 less a month. That’s huge! And every cigarette you avoid gives your body a better fighting chance against this year’s nasties.
To get help cutting back, come in and talk to our staff about nicotine replacement therapy and other options.
Choose a healthier lunch option
Swap out your jam sandwich for avocado and tomato. Pick a wholegrain bread instead of white. Instead of a side of fries, ask for a small salad. By focusing on making just one meal a day more nutritious you’re changing your habits and improving your health.
Our trained staff and nutritionist can help you make better nutrition choices! Whether you want to lose weight, have more energy or just get back on track with your diet, come in and let us help you feel better today
Before that next glass of alcohol, how about some water?
A lot of us could probably cut back a bit in this regard. Instead of cutting out alcohol altogether, an easier step is to space your drinks and increase your water intake. Your body takes a lot of energy to process each alcoholic drink, energy we need to help us fight off infection, and so reducing the number of drinks you have gives your body, especially your liver, some much-needed rest. Add a slice of lemon to make it feel a little more festive.
Unwind by taking a short walk
Instead of relaxing in front of the TV take a leisurely stroll around the block. Exercise improves the health of your heart and lungs and is known to improve your mood. By switching out some of the time you would usually spend sitting on the couch with 20-30mins of movement you’re improving your body’s ability to fight off disease.
Have your afternoon tea outside
Vitamin D is needed for healthy muscles and bones and the easiest source is spending a little time in the sun. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with poor health and a weakened immune system, particularly around the body’s ability to fight infection. There’s a fine balance between too much sun and not enough, and so having a designated break outside each day will help you get the right amount.
If you have concerns about your vitamin D levels, come and talk to our staff
Instead of winding down with your phone in bed, read a book
You might read a magazine or newspaper instead, but the key thing here is to not spend time looking at a screen immediately before going to sleep. Technology before bed interrupts the production of your sleep hormone melatonin. Good sleep is vital for a strong, healthy immune system, and poor sleep also affects how quickly you bounce back from illness.
If you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up, come in and talk to our sleep specialists.
Improving your body’s natural defences can seem like a daunting task. But a few small changes here and there will soon add up, giving your body’s immune system the support it needs to fight off infection, and help you recover when you become ill.