We have you covered with seven ways to boost your immune system this cold and flu season.
Fall is here with cooler mornings and green leaves fading to yellow. Don’t let colds and the flu get in the way of the fun, seasonal activities you have planned.
Here are a few tips for starting autumn on a healthy note:
Reduce your stress levels.
Stress has various effects on your body, including reducing the effectiveness of your immune system. If you catch a cold or the flu, being stressed can make it last longer than normal.
Moderate your alcohol intake.
Think twice about having another cocktail. Excess alcohol can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds, flu or other illnesses.
Consume power foods.
Getting your vitamins via vegetable and fruit intake is a great way to boost your immune system. Peppers, garlic, ginger, turmeric and spinach are just a few power foods to try this fall.
Don’t skip the exercise.
Exercise contributes to your health in many ways. Studies show moving accelerates circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells, which are needed to fight colds and the flu.
Get more sleep.
Aim to get a minimum of eight hours a night. It helps your body recharge which can help you resist viruses.
According to the CDC, smoking harms the immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight against cold and flu viruses.
Wash your hands.
Avoid infections by regularly washing your hands. This habit helps remove and prevent the spread of germs.
Emily Simpson, M.D., a Mercy Health infectious diseases physician, agrees with a whole health approach in order to boost your immune system.
“All the things we can do to keep ourselves healthy – spiritually and emotionally, fueling, eating, hydrating, moving your body, activities to reduce stress levels and maintain emotional health – will absolutely reduce your likelihood of getting sick,” Simpson says.
While taking a more holistic approach to staying healthy can help, it is still very important to get your flu shot.
“Nothing supplants the role of vaccines,” says Dr. Simpson.
Visit Mercy.com to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care physicians today.