Many of us get ill at this time of year. Over Christmas we overindulge, we drink a lot more than usual, we eat lots of fatty foods, and we sleep much less. We’re also busier and more stressed out. We spend December running around trying to make the holidays perfect, while not taking the time to look after ourselves. Then, when it’s all over, and your body finally gets a much-needed break, you find yourself constantly battling coughs, colds and other bugs as well as stress and mental health issues.

It’s important to find ways to boost your immunity in January. To give your body the kick-start it needs in the new year and prevent illness from holding you back. Here’s what you need to do.

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Deal with Any Issues

Before thinking about preventing future illnesses, it’s important to deal with anything that your body might already be facing. Coughs and colds can be treated with over the counter medication, but if you are worried about anything more serious, see your GP as soon as you can get an appointment.

Physical problems aren’t the only things that might be affecting you in the new year. In the current climate, many of us are googling, What is Sexual Assault? And Christmas and New Year can lead to uncomfortable incidents, so if you’ve got any worries on that front, get some advice. Money worries are another common cause of stress in January, so it’s a good idea to take a look at your finances and start saving.

Whatever concerns you have, spend a little time assessing them and getting the help that you need before taking steps to boost your immune system.

Eat Right

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The best way to look after your immune system is completely natural. A few simple changes to your diet can have you feeling better and fighting off bugs in no time. Cut as much saturated fat and refined sugar from your diet and eat less greasy foods.

Instead, fill your meals with immunity-boosting fruit and vegetables. Some of the best foods to eat include:

  •    Citrus fruits
  •    Kiwi
  •    Garlic
  •    Peppers
  •    Almonds
  •    Yoghurt
  •    Ginger
  •    Broccoli
  •    Spinach

Drink Right

It’s not just foods that can affect your body. Drink is equally important. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and stop your bodies functions working as well as they should, including your immune system. Too much caffeine can have a similar effect, and fizzy drinks can lead to excess weight gain, which can make you more likely to become more seriously affected by illnesses.

Instead, try to drink as much water as you can. Your body is made up of massive amounts of water. It needs it to work at its best, but loses a lot throughout the day. Alcohol, caffeine and fatty foods can lead to dehydration too. So, drinking eight glasses of water a day can help restore the fluids your bodies functions need to do their job at their best.

Sleep

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One of the main reasons we get ill over winter is that we don’t get enough rest. Sleep is your bodies chance to recover from the day. When you are busy, you need more sleep to be able to start a new day on top form. But, it’s when you get the least.

The easiest way to boost both your immune system and mood is by getting a good night’s sleep as often as you can. Your specific needs depend on your lifestyle and metabolism, but for most of us, it’s between 6-8 hours.

Exercise

Exercise is another thing that slides in December which can lead to a weakened immune system response. Getting a little high-intensity exercise every week can help to flush bacteria and toxins out of your lungs, improve your circulation, help you to sleep better, boost your confidence and mood and increase your heart rate.

Exercise can change the white blood cells in your body. While exercising, your blood pumps faster, meaning the white blood cells get around your body faster allowing them to detect and fight off disease much sooner. It also raises the temperature in your body, helping it to fight off disease and preventing the growth of bacteria, just like the effects of a fever.

There are countless news stories and articles out there, recommending different chemicals and supplements to fight infection, prevent disease and help your immune system to do its job. But, the truth is you’d be much better helping yourself naturally with a few simple lifestyle changes.