Winter is here, and in Kyneton and the Macedon Ranges, it seems as though we were thrown straight into the deep end. There are lots of things to love about winter: snuggling up by the fire, sipping hot chocolate and the beauty of frost and snow adorning our trees and grasslands. But, there is also the threat of illness as the cold sets in and we become less active. Keeping our immune system healthy is vital now more than ever with the threat of the recent pandemic.
Here are our top five immunity tips:
Go with your gut
Never was eating healthily more important. Eat the rainbow of fruit and vegetables and what is in the season to load up on a diverse range of vitamins and minerals. Enjoy garlic often, which can protect against colds and viruses. Raw garlic is the most potent if you can abide it. For an extra boost to your good gut bacteria, add some pickled or fermented food, like sauerkraut or natural yoghurt, to your meals.
In the cooler months, it is easy to forget to stay hydrated. Avoid too many caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. If cold water doesn’t appeal to you, try herbal teas, bone broth or warm water with lemon. Bone broth has the goodness of amino acids and Vitamin B12, which supports your immune system. Lemon is an anti-inflammatory, high in Vitamin C and can aid digestion.
It seems a simple thing but in the season of staying indoors, exercise is more important and immune boosting than you might think. Regular exercise: lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, decreases your risk of heart attacks and can improve your mood amongst other benefits. Rug up if you are exercising in the cold so that you don’t unnecessarily strain your muscles. Simple stretching whilst watching television is better than nothing if you are feeling particularly unmotivated.
Get a good night’s sleep
Don’t underestimate the power of restful sleep. It is when our body repairs and refreshes itself. If you are running on little sleep you are more susceptible to illness. Listen to your body and prioritise a good night’s rest as often as possible.
Stress is the enemy of good health but it is easier said than done in our busy lives. If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that having less commitments makes our lives simpler and calmer. Your mental and physical health are intertwined. Step back when you need to and don’t feel guilty about it. Practise meditation or whatever activity helps you to switch your mind off and reap the benefits of better health.
Do you have any immunity boosting tips? We would love to hear them.