During a normal year, people are interested in boosting their immune system during the winter months. This year, nearly everyone is looking for ways to stave off colds, flu, and, of course, COVID-19.
Although there’s not a magic pill you can take to keep yourself well, taking care of yourself can go a long way toward staying healthy, year round. Take these five steps to boost your immune system.
1.) Maintain a healthy diet – This includes eating a variety of vegetables and fruit, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts and avocados. It may also help to include winter superfoods in your diet. These foods are chock-full of important nutrients that can help you stay healthy.
2.) Get regular exercise – Daily activity not only strengthens your muscles, it also strengthens your immune system. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, five days a week. This may include taking a walk or jogging, biking, strength training or doing a virtual workout.
3.) Stay hydrated – During the winter months, you may feel less thirsty than you do when it’s warmer outside. But it’s still important to make sure you’re drinking enough to stay hydrated. Aim for eight, eight-ounce servings of water every day. Drinking non-caffeinated tea or eating broth-based soups can also help you stay hydrated.
4.) Get plenty of sleep – Even when you’re resting, your body is hard at work. While you’re sleeping, your body releases important cells and proteins that help fight off infections. Most adults should aim for 7-9 hours [LINK to tips for better sleep article] of sleep each day.
5.) Minimize stress – When you’re stressed out, your body’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. One way to lower stress levels is to start or end your day with 5-10 minutes of meditation. You might also try exercises that focus on the mind-body connection, such as yoga.
Network Health can help you get healthier in 2021. Our wellness programs reward people for taking steps to improve their health, including completing online health workshops, maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise.
We can also help people connect with a personal doctor if they don’t already have one to help them get the care they need to stay healthier over time. To learn more, visit networkhealth.com.