It is that time of the year again – in the far north of the country, snow lies in drifts by the roadside and covers mountain peaks. Further south, we have switched to our winter wardrobes and pulled out our heaters and thickest blankets. Winter might mean hot chocolate and fragrant woollens to many, but it comes with its downsides, especially this time of the year. It is after all the season of catching a cold or getting the flu.

Currently, North Indian cities are shrouded in a deadly smog where the air quality has dropped to hazardous levels, and this can impact our immune response adversely. While the human immune system is designed to fight these conditions and act as a natural armour to shield us from bacteria, fungi, and other toxins, this winter calls for an extra boost. Here are some simple tips you can follow daily to give your immunity a leg up:

1. Stay Active

The complex process by which the food and drinks we consume are converted into energy is called metabolism. Our body’s activity and digestion both play an important role in determining our metabolic rate. But as the temperature drops, we tend to become more lethargic – the chilly weather outside also deters activity as thick layers of blankets and sweaters cover us.

Our digestive process is disrupted as we limit our physical activity and it, therefore, slows down our metabolism. This gives rise to fatigue as our body fails to generate enough energy to keep us active, but it can be reversed by staying active.

And staying active doesn’t take much – 15-minute cardio, a quick yoga session or even just a brisk walk in the park of your colony can be enough to kickstart your metabolism. If outdoor exercise is not a viable option because of the pollution, then you can choose any of the smart fitness products from a broad range of choices available online. A tummy twister or a portable pedal exercise machine is perfect for getting a whole-body exercise at home.

2. Add Greens and Oranges to your diet

The onset of winter marks the beginning of influenza-like diseases. With the sudden change in the temperature, people across age groups develop cold, cough, and flu-like symptoms. It is, therefore, necessary for us to give nutritious food to our body to build up our immunity against these.

Veggies like spinach, radish leaves, mustard greens are called superfoods for good reason – they are high in iron, calcium, and beta-carotene and contain some essential vitamins. Another superfood you certainly should consider adding to your diet is sweet potato. They are inexpensive and full of essential nutrients that have lasting health benefits.

Spinach, citrus fruit and kitchen staples such as haldi, garlic, ghee have anti-inflammatory properties and are a winter must-have. Fruits rich in Vitamin C like orange, lime, papaya and so on are good for your respiratory system as well. Eat them fresh, slice them up, or drink them as juices but do not forget to stock up on these fruits to fortify your body’s response.

3. Steam Therapy for Clogged Pores and Congestion

At this time of year, those who suffer from recurring respiratory illnesses have to face a double-whammy. The rising rate of pollution and the flu season makes it critical for them to take care of their respiratory wellness. One of the simplest and most effective ways of getting some relief from blocked nose and congestion is steam therapy.

It also gives us momentary relief from other upper respiratory infections. Consequently, the sweat it creates flushes out toxins from our bodies. Another advantage of steam therapy is that it opens up our clogged pores and makes it easy to remove all the dirt accumulated on them. It stimulates the flow of blood across our face and enhances our skin’s overall health. Inhaling steam a few times a week can help us improve our respiratory health and skin.

4. Take care of your Mental Health

Poor mental health can impact our immune system negatively. Seasonal depression is common during winters. Grey skies with occasional sightings of the sun can put most people in a gloomy mood. Thus, we need to prioritise our mental well being and make it a part of our overall well being. To do so, it is imperative that we diligently follow Tip 1 and Tip 2. The key to physical and mental wellness is regular exercise and nutritious meals. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and it facilitates proper brain development and functioning. So, don’t forget to soak in the winter sun as well.

5. A time for All-round Wellness

There are three foolproof methods with the help of which one can slowly improve their immunity. First, drink a glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning. This will wash out the toxins from our body. Secondly, eat a balanced diet. Add protein, carbs, fat, fibre and other nutrients to your diet. Thirdly, make sure that you get a good night’s sleep. Our body needs 7-8 hours of sleep to function at its optimum level. For the sake of our immune system, we should follow these three basic steps throughout the year.

To Sum It Up:

Our immune system is this fantastic weapon that helps us fight harmful infections and toxins every day. It combats every foreign invader and creates an immune response to protect it from causing any disturbance in our body. As strong as this weapon is, we still need to help with its maintenance and improve its efficiency. We owe it to our body to safeguard it from all the harshness and affliction this winter. Talk to experts from the comfort of your home on DocVita:!