Don’t give cold viruses a chance! These tips will help you prime your defenses and leave germs out in the cold. When your body’s in tip-top condition, you’re ready to face the winter. No coughing and sniffling for you this year – bring it on!
Eat well to boost your defenses
It goes without saying that the bodyguards in your immune system need the best nutrition for optimal performance. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products is ideal for your many specialized immune cells. And don’t forget to drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day too.
Aramark’s dietician Veronika Pfeifer offers 10 performance tips for eating and living well in winter and summer alike.
Cast out viruses without voodoo
Scratchy throats and runny noses are usually caused by viruses. The bad news is that antibiotics won’t help fight these tiny germs. So, apart from resorting to voodoo, what else can you do? Surprisingly simple things: Stay away from viruses. Avoid crowded, stuffy rooms. Ventilate often and go outside regularly. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap when you get home and especially before cooking and eating. The fewer the germs, the better your body will cope.
Fight off colds: Go out into the cold
It sounds paradoxical, but going outside into the cold helps fight off colds. This is because cold temperatures in themselves do not cause colds. Viruses are the culprits. And there are far fewer viruses in the fresh air than indoors. Furthermore, the change of temperature helps train your immune system. And even winter light helps our skin create vitamin D. Exercising outside also helps your body resist virus attacks. Wear warm clothing of course – but a few shivers won’t do any harm.
Get your immune system ready
Of course, no matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid all germs. That’s why it’s important to ensure your antibodies are best primed to keep any viruses and bacteria you do come into contact with at bay. Keeping fit and active, even in the cold season, will strengthen your immune system. Half an hour of exercise several times a week is ideal. But also allow your body ample time to relax and be sure to get enough sleep so that your defenses are always well rested and at the ready.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.