As the winter is now well underway, we are all more vulnerable to picking up illnesses now the weather has changed.

There are however some things we can do to protect and build a strong immune system. One of these is to make sure we are getting the correct support Immunity in Winter from our diet.

Eating A Balanced Diet

By eating a balanced diet including the right amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre it helps to keep our immune system strong and keeping it functioning properly. We can make sure we are getting the correct nutrition from our diet by including a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, trying to aim for 5 a day!

Get some Exercise

Participating in regular exercise is another way in which we can help to keep our immune system healthy. Moderate intensity exercise is shown to improve immune function by maintaining bone health and by allowing immune cells to regenerate.

Taking Care In The Cold

We should however take extra care when we are exercising in colder temperatures, this is mainly down to the influence the cold has on blood vessels in the body. The colder temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, narrowing the space available for the blood to travel though. This increased resistance puts extra load on the heart meaning it has to work harder. To combat this, we should be making sure we are completing a proper warm up to allow the blood vessels to dilate properly before we start the main portion of our exercise. An example of this could be that we walk slower than normal for the first 5 minutes of a walk to allow this, from there we can carry on at your normal speed and finally make sure we are cooling down by going slowly again 5 minutes before we finish.

If you need any further information on how to keep yourself healthy and exercising safely during the winter please ask one of our exercise physiologists in the unit or call 01922 725050 and we will be happy to help.

Jack Raby, Exercise Physiologist

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