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Ward off those winter ills

Winter doesn’t just bring chilly winds, frosty mornings and cold nights; it also brings a host of stuffy noses, coughs and colds and other troublesome winter ailments like blocked sinuses, dry winter skin, chapped lips and cold sores. Winter ailments affect most of us at some time, yet some people seem to battle colds and flu all winter, while others never seem to get sick. The fact is that these healthy people aren’t just lucky. Healthy people all have something in common – a strong immune system.

What weakens the immune system?

There are several factors that can weaken the immune system such as poor nutrition, toxins, drug overload, emotional and physical stress, a lack of exercise, pollution and extreme temperature changes.

Here are some simple ways to boost your immune system and have you sailing through winter unscathed!

1. Avoid extreme and sudden temperature changes. Wrap up warmly when you go outside as prolonged exposure to wet and cold weather lowers your resistance and increases your risk of infection.

2. Get your heart going. Get in your three workouts a week for optimal immune system health. Regular exercise boosts the immune system and increases oxygen in the blood which helps fight antigens more effectively. If necessary, put your gym dates in your diary to make sure you don’t miss out!

3. Boost your body’s resistance to disease by using natural alternatives like homeopathy and herbal medicine. These come from nature, have been around since the beginning of time and really help to boost your health and vitality.

4. Get enough rest. Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone levels (including the stress hormone, cortisol), keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant, healthy skin. So don’t skimp on the shut-eye.

5. Reduce stress. A relaxed mind and positive mental attitude makes a big difference to how your body fights disease. In dealing with stress find a daily relaxation technique to help you unwind such as breathing techniques, listening to calming music, yoga, Pilates, or simply enjoying time with your family.

6. Fill up on fruit and veg, which are filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to boost your health. Winter’s the season for delicious vegetable stews and soups, just bursting with goodness. Have a pot simmering on the stove all the time.

7. Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and your body working at its optimum. Most headaches occur because, despite the number of reminders, people still aren’t getting enough water! Headaches and thirst are both signs of dehydration.

8. Eat plenty of protein, which is a building block for a healthy body, mind and immune system. Diets low in protein tend to be high in carbs which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the pancreas and the immune system.

9. Go easy on the sugar: High fat, high sugar foods decrease the activity of the immune system. Comfort foods are anything but that in the long run!

10. Lastly, don’t forget to nurture yourself. Take some time out for yourself every single day and you’ll be far better equipped to roll with life’s punches. And don’t be afraid to have a good cry! When you are feeling blue, your immune system is weakened. Crying helps release pent-up emotions and stress, which will have you feeling better in no time

Homeopathic remedies for winter (all available in our Winter Essentials pack):

Aconitum 200c First remedy for colds / flu. Start taking at first signs of cold / flu to nip it in the bud. Cough, croup, fever, loss of voice, runny nose, hayfever, eye inflammation, sore throat

Rhus Tox 200c For aching, stiffness; can’t get comfortable, restlessness, flu, fever, sore throat

Gelsemium 200c First remedy for flu; fever, hayfever, chills, headache, migraine; use for any viral infections

Ferrum Phos 200c First remedy for any kind of inflammation, chills, fights infection, colds, runny nose, hayfever, fever, eye inflammation, sore throat

Hepar Sulph 200c Sore throats, cough, croup, hayfever, sinusitis, cold sores, mouth ulcers

Dulcamara 200c Fever blisters, cold, runny nose, hayfever, mouth ulcers, chapped lips, coughs