Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

5 secrets to a flu-free winter season:

Reduce the chances of succumbing to a cold or 'flu this winter by building your immune system now in preparation.
By Kirsten Anthony
Date: April 25 2015
Editor Rating:

Each year around ANZAC Day, there's an imaginary flick of a switch and - hey presto - we know we're getting into winter. Even if the days remain sunny and hovering in the 20s, there's a difference in the air.

So it's probably no surprise to learn that every year, Australians book more than 80,000 appointments with their GPs for cold and 'flu related illnesses alone!

According to Sheila Zhou, expert scientist at USANA, a leading producer of high quality supplements, it's easy to stay healthy during autumn and winter by implementing a cold and 'flu prevention regime before winter officially gets underway. 

Here are Sheila's expert tips on how to winter-proof your immune system this season.

1.       Soak up the sunshine

You wouldn't think so, but a significant number of Australians are deficient in vitamin D. Did you know that just 20 minutes of sunlight each day significantly boosts the production of vitamin D in your body? Vitamin D not only helps protect your body in maintaining healthy immune function, but it also assists in general wellbeing. Unfortunately, with the days getting shorter and the daylight hours diminishing, winter can be a difficult time to get the necessary sunshine, so Vitamin D supplements can be beneficial.

2.       Drink like a fish

Like any other time of year, staying hydrated during winter is extremely important. Even though you may not feel as thirsty or sweat as much during the cooler months, drinking plenty of water is still essential to help eliminate waste and prime your body against infections from pathogens. 

3.       Get  moving

Never underestimate the importance of regular activity. Exercising is of course a great way to get into shape, but it also increases the number of natural killer cells in our bodies that fight off infection. So even if you only have time to walk around the block, making the effort goes a long way in keeping you healthy and infection free as the weather cools down.

4.       Get creative in the kitchen

Eating brightly coloured fruit and vegetables is also a great way to keep infections at bay. They are rich in vitamin C and E and antioxidants. Their ability to increase the functionality of your immune system means that adding these fresh fruits and vibrant veggies to your daily diet helps your body safe guard itself from nasty viruses, while tasting delicious too!

5.       Stress less

You’re probably aware that stress isn’t good for you, but very few people are aware of how much it actually impacts your health. Stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to everything from a common cold to major diseases. So if you don’t already, make sure you get enough sleep and take time out to do the things you enjoy.

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