SHAPING UP: Give your immune system a boost to stay healthy over the winter months

Autumn has certainly arrived! The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter, which means cold and flu season is just around the corner.

“Foods like egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon and tuna contain vitamin D, so make sure you include these in your diet."
“Foods like egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon and tuna contain vitamin D, so make sure you include these in your diet."

So, it’s important to give your immune system a boost to stay healthy and avoid being ill over the winter.

Sure, the flu jab can help, but here are some natural ways to boost your immune system over the next few months:-

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Plenty of ExerciseExercise is one of the most effective ways of preventing a cold.

When you work out there is an increase of white blood cells circulating around your body which can improve your body’s ability to fight infection.If you already have a cold, taking part in some light exercise can help you along on the road to recovery.

However, you must take note of your body’s response to the activity. If you feel like you’re straining yourself too much, then it may be a good idea to stop.

Manage StressWhen you’re stressed there is an increase in the hormone cortisol.

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High cortisol levels over a long period of time can lead to a less effective immune system.

Get Enough SleepLack of sleep can be a key contributor to colds and flu because there is a reduction of infection-fighting antibodies and cells when you’re tired.So, if you’re feeling a little run down opt for an early night over a Netflix binge.

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Drink More WaterSupermarkets are full of health-boosting drinks, but one of the most powerful drinks you can have is water.Staying hydrated is really important for your immune system, because it helps your kidneys flush toxins out of the body.

Drink Less AlcoholDrinking alcohol can damage the cells in the body that help the immune system.

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So, too much alcohol over time can increase the risk of bacterial and viral infections.

Vitamin DA lack of vitamin D can lead to a weak immune system.Foods like egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon and tuna contain vitamin D, so make sure you include these in your diet.

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If you don’t eat those foods you could also consider a vitamin D supplement. Choose a supplement that contains D3 (cholecalciferol), because it’s better at raising your blood levels of vitamin D.

Drink Green TeaGreen tea contains a high level of antioxidants, called flavonoids, which have many health benefits, including boosting your immune system.

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Graham says: “If you want to get in shape but not take it too seriously, East Coast Fitness may be the right place for you.

"It's about getting healthy, living the life you deserve and spreading happiness to those around you, including your family.

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"Our clients, most of whom don't like attending gyms due to the intimidating environment, love the friendly, family setting at East Coast Fitness.

"With some gentle encouragement and some personal guidance with nutrition, it's great to see our clients grow in confidence, start to enjoy exercise and make it become a way of life.”

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