6 Tricks To Boost Your Immune System In Winter

6 Tricks To Boost Your Immune System In Winter

There are specific ways you can boost your immune system to protect yourself from winter viruses.

Taking steps to reduce the spread of illnesses has become a much talked about topic with the onset of the global pandemic, but it’s something that’s always been relevant to athletes.

Doing a lot of high-intensity training can weaken your body’s defences, and getting an infection or illness can slow down its ability to adapt and get stronger.

Staying healthy will ensure you can continue to train regularly over long periods of time.

Here, Built for Athletes looks at six ways you can boost your immune system in the winter months.

Take Vitamin D Supplements

The NHS recommends everyone in the UK should take a vitamin D supplement during the winter months because of shorter daylight hours. We normally get most of our vitamin D through sunlight, and one of its functions is to support immune function.

Prioritise Sleep

People who get less than six hours of sleep each night are much more likely to catch a cold than those who get a full night’s rest. There are a lot of ways you can improve your chances of getting better sleep, like avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and avoiding bright unnatural light in the evening hours.

Eat Foods That Are High In Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best things you can consume to support your immune system and is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are packed with it, as well as peppers and berries.

Add Herbs That Increase Immunity

There are a lot of herbs that have been used for centuries for their immune-boosting properties. Herbs like cayenne pepper, cumin and ginger all support immune function. You can also try immune-boosting herbal teas, which can also help you unwind in the evenings to get a better night’s sleep.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is closely linked with illness because it can reduce the number of white blood cells in your body. While it’s impossible to avoid stress altogether, there are ways you can lower your stress levels. Scheduling in time for yourself, practising mindfulness or trying relaxation techniques are all ways of managing stress levels.

Moderate Alcohol Intake

With long evenings, it’s easy to drink more during the winter, particularly over the festive period. But alcohol can impair white blood cells which kill viruses and other foreign pathogens. Moderating your alcohol intake will help keep your immune system firing, as well as helping you get better sleep.