Staying well throughout the fall
September. When the first whiff of chilly air nips your sun-pampered nose, you'll know it’s time to say goodbye to hot, sunny days. As the days get shorter and the air gets cooler, it's time to put all your light summer clothes back in the closet and start getting your immune system up to speed. The following tips and the right micronutrients will help you prepare for the cold and rainy season.
1. Make sure your diet is nutritious, regional and seasonal.
Pick fresh, seasonal food grown in your region, preferably outdoors, to treat your body to a generous helping of valuable vitamins and minerals.
2. Take some time for yourself.
Stress is a burden on the immune system. While it's easy to take a quick time-out during the summer months – a walk, garden party or other relaxing activity – we tend to lapse right back into the familiar grind once autumn approaches. So be kind to yourself and take regular occasions to relax and unwind.
3. Go outside.
Stubborn couch potatoes will probably argue that leaving the house during the damp and cold season will make you more likely to catch cold. But it's the other way round! Exercising outdoors not only reduces stress, it also stimulates the cardiovascular system and blood circulation, boosts your mood, and promotes healthy sleep. All these effects are conducive to a healthy immune system. So wrap up warm and head outdoors!
4. Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
As we know today, bacteria are usually transmitted via our hands. So grips and handles on public transport, ATMs and shaking hands are a frequently underestimated sources of contagion. And by touching our faces with our fingers, which we do every four minutes on average, we are making it easier for bacteria to attack us. So try to keep your hands off your face and wash them frequently and well.
5. Say no to dry air.
Heated indoor air dries out the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, creating an ideal target for viruses and other pathogens. Experts are critical of electric humidifiers because of the potential for pathogen colonization. Instead, invest in some houseplants and place an uncovered bowl of water (a clay pot is ideal; change the water regularly) on the heater to increase humidity naturally.
6. Say yes to kissing.
We spend an average of 76 days kissing. As it turns out, a bit of romance is not only fun, it's healthy too. Apart from the generous dose of happiness hormones that flood our bodies with every smooch, an intense, passionate kiss also transmits about 80 million bacteria: it’s almost the same as an oral vaccine.
7. Boost your defenses with immunoactive nutrients.
By taking the right micronutrients, such as zinc and vitamins C and D, you can support your immune system and make a valuable contribution to your body's own defenses.
Here is an overview of the most important immunoactive substances: