DON’T BE IMMUNE TO SEASONAL HEALTH ADVICE –TOP TIPS TO BOOST YOUR WELLBEING
As many of us begin to resume our “old routines” this Autumn, it will be more important than ever to keep on top of our mental and physical health. The “double whammy” of the impact of lockdown and the reoccurrence of winter ailments means we’ll need to pay particular attention to nurturing our immune system. This will ensure that we’re “fighting fit” to navigate the return to the norms of daily life – whether it’s a step back into commuting, giving a holding hand on the school run or continuing the “Work From Home” routine. Follow our top immune boosting tips to make your wellbeing a top priority:
Stress is sadly seen by many of us as a by-product of our times – but it’s important that we keep our response to the pressures of modern life in check. Stress can affect how we feel, think, behave and how our body works – from how well we sleep to our immune system.1. And, long term stress can put our health at risk. We often need to be proactive in our stress management, adopting a more mindful approach to life and using techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. Also, remember the adage – laughter is the best medicine? It’s true! Laughter is proven to increase your heart rate and help us de-stress2
Hot Tip For Your Lips
A weakened immune system is one of a number of trigger factors for cold sores including fever, exposure to UV radiation and hormonal fluctuations. Cold sores are a common lip issue that are not only unsightly, but can also be very painful and make people feel extremely self-conscious. Therefore, cold sores can make big events like dates, interviews, holidays and selfies with friends feel miserable and uncomfortable. Thanks to an advance in heat technology there is a new chemical-free option called HERPOtherm®. This pocket-sized saviour – shaped like a lip balm stick for convenience and to avoid stigma – produces a concentrated temperature of approximately 51 degrees to reduce symptoms of itching, tingling, tightness, burning and pain. The treatment can reduce the duration of cold sore blisters by 50% or prevent development completely if applied early enough3.
Eat Well To Feel Well
The changing of the seasons is always a great opportunity to review your diet and take advantage of the new produce available. Try boosting your diet with foods that are naturally orange, red, yellow and deep greens – autumn-like colours. Think pumpkin, squash, oranges, carrots, kale, red bell peppers, broccoli etc4. Choosing recipes that incorporate natural herbal flavour-favourites such a ginger, turmeric and garlic also support healthy immune function, which can help you to avoid common problems such as colds, fever and cold sores. You could whizz up some of these ingredients into a breakfast smoothie or incorporate them into a chicken bone broth (bone marrow helps produce white blood cells to help fight viruses)5.
Sleep On It
Getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done in current times – but try to set good intentions for a healthy bedtime routine to aid sound sleep. Your immune system works better when it’s well rested6 and we should aim for between 7-9 hours per night. If you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep or are fitful during the night, try to incorporate some gentle exercise into your daily routine – morning yoga and/or an evening walk are ideal. A warm bath or shower using soothing lavender products is a positive daily pre-bedtime ritual which helps relax the mind and body for slumber.
Hands Up For Hygiene
The importance of hand washing has been rung out loud and clear over the last couple of months – and it’s vital that we remain vigilant in this to ensure our immune system isn’t compromised as the colder weather returns. Offices, public transport and schools can be common breeding grounds for germs and bugs and washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect against illnesses such as food poisoning, flu and colds. If this isn’t possible, then hand sanitiser is a good alternative and should be top of your checklist alongside your face mask whenever you leave the house.
- Nassaji m et al., Eur Res J 2019. 5(3):545-549