1. Add extra fresh fruit and veggies to your diet
It’s easy to eat lots of fresh, crunchy salads and seasonal fruits in summer. But in winter, our diet often tends towards stodgy comfort food.
A healthy diet is essential for keeping your immune system healthy so look for vibrant winter vegetables like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and spinach.
It’s easy to whip up warming soups and hearty stews, or add a healthy twist to traditional comfort foods like shepherd’s pie and lasagne.
It’s also a good time to eat foods high in flavonoids, which support your immune system, like apples and blueberries.
Aim for five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day.
Try an acai bowl with apple and berries for a flavonoid-rich breakfast.
2. Seek out the sunshine
What’s the first thing you miss about summer? The sun!
Winter darkness can leave you feeling flat and exposure to the sun is also key for the production of vitamin D, which helps support healthy immune function.
So, even if the weather is cold, spend some the out in the sun each day. During winter the UV rating the UV rating falls below 3 so get out in the middle of the day, with some skin uncovered to get your daily dose of vitamin D
3. Look after your gut health
Research is finding that many elements of your health can be traced back to your gut.
A healthy gut is made up of trillions of different micro-organisms and bacteria that help you digest food and ward off bad bacteria.
It also plays a role in immune function, and a healthy immune system makes for a healthier you in winter.
Add in probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt or fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut.
Eat probiotic foods including sauerkraut, miso, sourdough bread and yogurt.
4. Get plenty of rest
If you’re not getting enough sleep, or your sleep is poor quality, your immune system may suffer for it and leave you more susceptible to colds and other bugs that are going around.
Aim for seven to nine hours sleep
a night. To ensure you get a good night’s rest, go to bed at the same time each night, make sure your bedroom is dark and not too hot, and keep it a technology-free zone.
5. Don’t skip the workouts
When it's cold and dark outside, it can be very tempting to hibernate on the couch with the remote in hand. But it’s even more important to exercise in winter – even if you don’t feel like it.
Exercise releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, which can help stave off the winter blues.
Winter is also the time we’re most likely to gain weight, so keep up a regular exercise routine to avoid those extra kilos.
6. Focus on good hygiene
Never underestimate the power of soap and water. Good hygiene is even more important in winter when your immune system is low, more bugs are around and you’re in much closer proximity to other people. Remember to wash your hands and wipe down surfaces regularly.
7. Keep your skin hydrated
Winter weather can be harsh on your skin. Cold air, wind and low humidity can cause skin to become dry, itchy and sensitive. The best way to keep skin hydrated is from the inside, so drink plenty of water and non-caffeinated fluids.
You can also moisturise your skin with coconut oil, eat foods with healthy fats like avocado nuts & seeds, and try using a humidifier in your home.