Boost your immune system with a health plan to see you through the winter months. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a few minor changes can make a big difference and help fight off the blues and the sniffles. With a few simple adjustments, you can prepare to stave off coughs and sneezes, have more energy and look great for the Christmas party season!
1. Adding a supplement of vitamins and minerals during the winter time may help to boost the immune system. Good skin begins with good nutrition,so the key to looking good on the outside is looking after the inside. A well balanced diet can be supplemented with extra Vitamins A, B-complex, C and E. Most pharmacies and health food shops stock a good range of one-a-day vitamin capsules.
2. Get outdoors and do some exercise. Forty minutes of brisk walking everyday should help you look and feel energised and keep the winter blues at bay. Walking is an excellent way to enhance your mood while getting fresh air and keeping fit. It is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, boosting the heart rate while reducing cholesterol, strengthening and toning muscles while burning fat. Make the most of any winter sun, as walking in the sunshine helps the skin to produce Vitamin D which is essential for good health. With the dark nights creeping in it is important to try to get as much natural day light as possible.
3. Get your five a day. Having a balanced diet, rich in fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and pulses as well as wholegrain breads, pasta and rice is important for optimum health. Winter vegetables are great for soups and there are thousands of recipes for healthy hot-pots, stews and soups available online. Chicken soup is particularly good for fighting colds in the winter months.
4. Keep hydrated. With the cold weather it is always tempting to turn the thermostat up and have the central heating on all day. The central heating dries the atmosphere and can leave the skin feeling parched. If you are going to have the heating on a lot, make sure you drink enough water to stop your skin from drying. It is a good idea to place a bowl of water in the room near the radiator to allow a little moisture back into the air too.
5. Invest in a good natural moisturiser. The central heating and cold weather can damage the skin, leaving it chapped and dehydrated. A good organic/natural moisturiser (such as Madara’s Deep Moisture Cream 50ml) can help protect the skin from the elements. Choose a moisturiser that will benefit your skin type. Look for products without SLS, parabens and other chemical nasties. Often skincare brands make claims of being all natural when in fact they are not, you should always read the ingredients list to check exactly what is in a product. We say, if a product contains a cocktail of synthetic ingredients don’t buy it.
6. If you want to avoid catching a cold be sure to wash your hands regularly, especially after being in public areas, public transport etc. If you do feel the symptoms beginning, try to boost your Vitamin C intake and drink plenty of warm drinks. A warm bath with a few drops of a warming bath oil such as Trevarno’s Cedarwood, Juniper and Pine Bath and Body Oil, or a few drops of eucalyptus or Olbas oil will help to ease congestion and aching muscles.
7. Stimulate your mind, start a book club! On a cold night, there is nothing nicer than curling up on the sofa with a great book to lift your spirits and transport you to another world. It’s great fun to share your enjoyment of books with friends or like minded others and get together once or twice a month to discuss your exciting literary findings. Keeping both the body and mind active during the winter months will help you look and feel better too!