The weather shouldn't dictate how healthy we are. Winter is notorious for making us want to stay in and eat lots. It isn't time to hibernate! Read our quick guide on how to get and maintain a healthy immune system this winter. Not only will it benefit you generally, it will really help you maintain your fitness, by being healthy from the inside out.
Dairy is your friend
Did you ever think you would get the chance to eat more cheese? Well you can! Just don't go crazy with it. Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese and so on) are full of protein and vitamins B12 (which helps maintain energy and reduces the risk of heart disease) and A (helps your immune system work and can improve vision in low light). And of course it is full of calcium. Opt for skimmed, semi-skimmed or low fat when you can.
Catch up on your sleep
We never get enough sleep. The alarm goes off and you feel like you just closed your eyes. Winter is the perfect time to make use of the dark nights and go to bed a bit earlier. Getting the right amount of sleep will help recharge your body and brain ensuring you have enough energy to start each new day feeling refreshed. We need between 7 and 9 hours, so turn off the gadgets and get your head down.
Eat your 5 or 7 a day
Just keep it healthy. Eat well and your body will thank you. Eating fruit and vegetables is a basic fact, and we all know how it benefits us. Keep away from the sugary treats that surround us. If you get a sweet craving, hit the fruit bowl, or even dried fruits. For savoury options, root vegetables are in season and make great soups, can be roasted or mashed and added as part of a satisfying and healthy meal. See our guide on Clean Eating to give you more ideas.
Just because it is winter, it doesn't mean you need to scale back your fitness. Keeping fit naturally boosts our immune system and keeps the bugs at bay.
Supplement your diet
If you can’t get all the vitamins you need from food (and lets face it, it’s difficulty at the best of times), then consider using vitamin supplements. Zinc and vitamin C are really good for your immune system. A good all round multivitamin could be the answer.
Eat lots of fibre
Grains, like porridge, are great sources of fibre, and make the perfect winter breakfast. You can add in a portion of fruit and honey and get one of your 5 a day in. There are lots of ways to increase fibre in your diet, weather it is smoothies, raw veg, soup or cereals. Fibre helps keep your digestive track healthy, which enables your body to absorb the most out of everything you eat.
Soluble fibre, in particular, has been fond to help our immune system. It can be found in foods like peas, beans, citrus fruits and apples.
So snack healthy and keep fit.