Once we learn how to walk and we start running around outside, parents (especially mums) teach us about the importance of shielding ourselves from cold weather. Hats, scarves, gloves, fluffy coats, and sweaters are all part of the arsenal against wintry weather. But even so, the cold seems to find a way to affect us.
After all, there’s a good reason why winter is also known as the flu season, right? But did you ever wonder why this happens? Is cold air really the problem here?
Recent discoveries show that indeed, cold temperatures along with a lack of direct sunlight can make us sick. But this only happens because our immune system is more exposed, which leaves us open to threats that lurk outside (such as the flu virus).
Now, it’s important to understand that cold air per se is not the cause of sickness. The problem is in the germs that now have a better chance to invade our bodies. So, if you want to be that one person who is healthy and fighting fit when everyone else is carrying a pack of tissues, all you have to do is give your immune system a little bit of help.
How to Boost the Immune System in Wintry Weather
There are a few things you can (and should) do to help stay healthy even when it’s freezing outside. Below we’ll list some of the most efficient ones that, sadly, are easily ignored.
The right clothing attire has the role of keeping you warm, which is very important. That scarf around your neck and over your mouth really does keep the germs away, but not in the way you may think.
For instance, if the temperature inside your nose is kept at a normal level, white blood cells (which protect and maintain our immune system) will be able to do their job properly. Otherwise, the infected cells will spread to other parts of your body, and you’re at risk of getting a cold or virus.
Even though you don’t have any fresh produce in the garden, we are living in a blessed era where supermarkets are filled with all sorts of vegetables and fruits. Make sure to include plenty of whole grains, nuts and seeds, super greens, fresh veggies, and fruits in your diet. Also, avoid fatty and fried foods and consume lean protein from high-quality meat.
Furthermore, since we don’t get enough sunlight exposure and it can be difficult to meet our daily intake of key vitamins, specialists recommend using supplements which help complete the list of necessary nutrients. You should consider vitamins such as Vitamin D (to help compensate for the lack of sunlight), A, C, and E.
Finally, you should consider enriching your diet with herbs and spices such as ginger, pepper, curry, turmeric, onions, garlic, and more. It’s a well-known fact that these are great for boosting the immune system!
Yes, you should continue your exercise routine even if the weather outside doesn’t allow you to run anymore. There are plenty of options for exercising indoors, and you have the possibility to choose between going to the gym and working out at home.
We know it’s tempting to just sit around and admire the snow, but physical activity boosts the immune system, keeps you stronger, and helps you sleep better. So don’t ignore it!
It’s easy to get dehydrated when it’s cold outside – you don’t feel like drinking cold water and you won’t notice until it’s already too late. So make sure to drink the daily recommended amount of clean water and avoid sugary drinks where possible. You can also drink tea, eat soup, or consume freshly squeezed fruit juice.
The liquid you consume helps in the production of lymph, which is in charge of transporting immune cells through the body. So, if you are hydrated, the transport system inside the body will function at the optimal level.
Keep in mind, the cold weather is not actually making you sick, but it does contribute towards making your immune system sluggish, giving germs the opportunity to penetrate your body. If you don’t want to get sick, keep active, eat fresh vegetables (or powdered greens if you don’t have the time to cook), get your vitamins, and drink plenty of fluids!