immune system in winter
Especially in winter, wind, cold and rain increase the risk of getting sick. Additionally, there are many viruses and pathogens that one is most susceptible to during this time. Right now you need to strengthen your body’s defenses with a healthy diet and enough exercise.
Strengthen the immune system: avoid 4 mistakes
In addition to lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking and an unhealthy diet, there are three typical daily mistakes that weaken the immune system. You should avoid these mistakes to get through the cold season in good health.
1. Cold feet
You should avoid cold feet in winter, as they indirectly weaken the immune system. When the feet are particularly cold, the body tries to protect them from further cooling. To do this, it constricts all blood vessels to prevent further heat loss. This means that some areas, such as the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat, are less supplied with blood and cold viruses can penetrate more easily. In winter, wear thick socks and warm shoes and warm your feet at home with a heating pad or hot water bottle.
2. Insufficient liquid
In summer it is easier to drink a lot due to outdoor exercise and high temperatures. In winter it can be more difficult to get to at least two liters per day. Sufficient fluid intake is also important in winter, as the mucous membranes must be kept moist in order to actively protect against the penetration of pathogens. Not drinking enough can also lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and many other symptoms. If you have a hard time drinking cold drinks at low temperatures, you can use unsweetened tea. Also include high-water content fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, radishes, or grapefruits, in your diet. By the way: dark urine is a sign of dehydration!
3. Getting too little sleep
A restful night’s sleep is especially important for the body in winter, as our immune systems work while we sleep. Also, the stress hormone cortisol, which slows the immune system, is less active at night. According to studies, the body forms fewer antibodies to the immune system when there is a permanent lack of sleep. For healthy sleep, you should sleep between seven and nine hours.
4. Lack of exercise
Especially in the cold season it is difficult to move sufficiently. But right now, daily exercise is important because lack of exercise weakens our immune systems. Regular exercise produces defense cells. If fewer immune cells are produced, we are more susceptible to infections and other diseases. Make sure you get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
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