Maintain your health over the colder months with some proactive steps to stay well in winter.
Wash your hands
Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness as it limits the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Make sure you wet your hands and lather with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds to help dislodge germs, then rinse well under running water. You may also like to keep an alcohol rub in your handbag, to use throughout the day after touching doorknobs, handrails or public bathrooms.
Getting enough sleep is the easiest health practice to adopt in winter, and one of the most important. A refreshing sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and may protect you from catching a cold.
One study in Brazil found that a lack of sleep can result in a substantial decrease in the white blood cells that help to fight infection in the body, while researchers at the University of Chicago found that men who had slept only four hours a night for one week produced only half the amount of flu-fighting antibodies in their blood compared with those who slept seven and a half to eight and a half hours.
Although we may not feel like going out when it’s cold and dark, a healthy social life may help us stay well in winter. A study of college freshmen found that those with larger social networks produced more flu-fighting antibodies, than those who hung out in smaller groups. Students who reported feeling lonely produced fewer antibodies, as well.
There are many natural ways to support a healthy immune system. Massage therapy has been shown to improve immune function and energy levels.
A well-balanced diet will also help support your immune system naturally. If you need an extra boost, Comvita’s range of winter wellness products contain a mixture of ingredients including UMF® Manuka honey, propolis, olive leaf, echinacea, garlic and zinc as well as other carefully-selected essential oils, plant and berry extracts.