Winter is a season with lots of things to look forward to, from Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the holidays to winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and skating to warm and cozy winter highlights like hot drinks and fuzzy sweaters.
However, as everyone knows, winter also brings some less-than-ideal aspects with it, and a big one is the seasonal illnesses that get passed around.
It might feel like a mystery as to why winter usually equals sickness, but there’s a key reason—the cold weather. Viruses thrive in cold temperatures because they’re able to live longer when the temperature and humidity levels are down.
Add to that the fact that cold weather pushes people indoors in enclosed spaces, and you’ve got a recipe for viruses and germs that circulate around for the whole season.
You’re here because you want to find out how to boost your immune system, so you don’t have to face classic winter sicknesses this year (because battling a head cold was not one of your New Year’s resolutions). We’re going to share four ways you can strengthen your immune system to skip over the illnesses getting passed around and get right into your plans for the new year.
Let’s dive in!
1. Eat Wisely
Essentially, the best way to boost your immune system so you can stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle, and the foods you eat are a major aspect of this.
Avoid excess sugar (try to cut out sugar wherever you can the majority of the time, such as swapping sugary soda for a healthier alternative), sub white flour for whole grains, and choose complex carbs (like oats, brown rice, and potatoes) instead of simple carbs, eat vegetables and fruits and other whole plant foods, include healthy fats and proteins in meals where possible, and don’t skimp on the fermented foods.
If this sounds daunting, try to stick to the 80/20 rule: eat healthy eighty percent of the time, but leave room for less healthy options the other twenty percent of the time.
2. Ingest Vitamins and Nutrients
Along with eating well, taking the right vitamins and nutrients acts as an added layer of protection against getting sick. You can aim to eat foods offering these ingredients, or you can take a daily dosage of vitamins in supplement form to ensure you meet your dose.
Recommended vitamins and nutrients that work to boost your immunity and your defense against illness are vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, echinacea, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and elderberry. Each of these vitamins and nutrients is available in pharmacies and drugstores (even the supermarket), but you can talk to your doctor about what dosage and combination will be best for you specifically.
3. Intravenous (I.V.) Drip Therapy
Intravenous, or I.V. drip therapy, is something you’ll definitely want to add to your health routine in order to prevent illness, and not just during the winter! It works by slipping a tiny tube into a vein and delivering essential vitamins, nutrients, medications, electrolytes, and other fluids directly into the bloodstream.
I.V. drip therapy is a highly effective treatment for illness, as well as a preventative measure because the ingredients get absorbed completely, whereas supplements have between a fifty and sixty percent rate of absorption.
A general routine of getting an I.V. infusion every two weeks is sufficient, but you can amp it up to twice a week if you want to stay in tip-top health. Fortunately, the whole process should only take about 30-60 minutes, and you should begin to feel the health benefits in your daily energy and wellness levels right away!
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most effective actions you can take to maintain your overall health, as it allows your body to repair, restore, and strengthen as you rest. When it comes to most illnesses, as well as prevention against sickness, sleep is largely beneficial.
Another benefit of sleep is the way it improves cognitive function—when you’re feeling sick, or even before when you’re feeling anxious about potentially getting sick, you need to get enough sleep in order to have a healthy mood and positive mental clarity.
No one wants to have a bad bout of winter illness get in the way of their motivation and excitement for the new year, but cold temperatures are ideal conditions for germs to circulate.
Fortunately, you can prevent yourself from getting sick before it’s too late by boosting your immune system. Follow these four ways to strengthen your immune system and keep your New Year’s momentum!