Winter is quickly approaching and in some of our campus towns the drop in temperature can be quite a shock. Here are some tips how to stay healthy and warm during the colder months.
Socialising helps strengthen your immune system by keeping you active and reducing your stress levels, so avoid the temptation to rug up on the couch all winter.
Invite friends over for dinner or host a games night, visit local museums and art galleries, wrap up warm and go for a walk in the park with your family, or plan a cinema date with your partner.
Boost your diet
Eating foods that are high in vitamin C will help keep your immune system strong, so include fruit and vegetables such as lemons, kiwifruit, capsicum and broccoli in your weekly shop.
If you’re struggling to get the recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of vegies each day, try juicing them. Nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin recommends making juices that consist of two-thirds vegetables and one-third fruit. A blend of carrot, beetroot, spinach and lemon is a stress-busting combination that will boost your immune system.
Ensure your diet also includes plenty of lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and use lots of herbs and spices.
Make sure that you stay warm to help prevent illness. By wearing layers and rugging up while you are outside and using heating in your home, you can stay warm during the coldest parts of the day.
Drink plenty of water
It is important to make sure that you stay hydrated during the colder months, as it helps you stay fit and healthy and prevents you getting ill. The recommended amount of water to drink is two litres per day.
Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching colds. A study from Brazil found lack of sleep can result in a substantial decrease in the white blood cells that help to fight infection in the body.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to soft music or soaking in a warm bath. Avoid watching TV or using your computer just before bedtime and turn the lights down low an hour before you turn in for the night, as it will boost the release of melatonin in the brain.
Also try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.