Have you managed to avoid coughs and colds so far this year?
The change of clocks and the change of season can bring with it particular health challenges. The onset of autumn and winter mean: shorter days; colder weather; lack of light; less fresh air; comfort food; less opportunity for exercise; and lots more coughs and colds doing the rounds.
Now is the time get ahead of the game and boost your immune system to ensure you stay healthy this winter.
Did you know, your body can produce 1,000,000 antibodies within a minute? This ability to react rapidly to a new invader makes all the difference between a minor twenty-four hour cold or stomach but and a week in bed with flu or food poisoning.
Patrick Holford, well-known nutritionist says, "Exercise, your state of mind, and your diet, all play a part in boosting your immune power."
Vigorous exercise can actually suppress the immune system, while Tai-chi has been shown to increase the count of T-cells by 40%. More calming and less stressful forms of exercise are probably best for immunity.
Learning how to deal with stress, coping with psychological issues and regular relaxation are important to boosting the immune system. If you find it difficult to relax, why not try Reflexology and Indian Head Massage?
A good, high strength, multivitimin and mineral supplement will help optimise your intake of immune boosting Vitamins A, B6, C, E, Zinc and Selenium. Also the herbal remedy
Echinacea is thought to help prevent colds, although there's no clear scientific evidence to support this.
Get outside every day, regardless of the weather, to top yourself up with daylight and fresh air. Even 15 or 20 minutes at lunchtime can help to boost your immune system if you get into a daily routine.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of: carrots, beetroot, sweet potatoes; tomatoes; beansprouts; watermelon; oranges; kiwi; lentils; beans; brown rice; and fish.
And of course, make sure you get plenty of sleep because your body does most of it's repair and renewal activity while you sleep.
And a positive mental attitude helps - if you think you're going to get a cold, it's much more likely that you will.
So start now to look after your health for winter and you'll reap the benefits in the months to come.