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Autumn is the perfect time to get your mind, body and spirit healthy and happy so when winter hits, no matter what life throws at you, you’re robust enough to weather any storms. Ensuring your immune system is functioning to the best of its ability, that stress is reduced and mental wellbeing is optimal is the easiest way to ward off sluggishness, the winter blues, colds and flu, so here are five ways to stay on top of your game all winter long.
While meditation might seem pretty woo-woo, people have benefited from the practice for more than 5,000 years, and science backs its health claims. Studies show meditation reduces stress by decreasing the release of the stress hormone cortisol and can even shift gene expressions that relate to stress and inflammation. Experienced meditators can even have gene shifts that elevate immune function so they can resist some viral infections.
If you’re just starting out, a meditation practice may seem daunting but thankfully there are loads of apps for that! Most apps cost to buy or use, but many offer free meditations in the mix.
Serving up a daily medley of five to nine vegetables a day is ideal (hello winter soups!) but even that may not be enough to boost the immunity over the sluggish winter months. Supplements contain potent doses of essential nutrients in convenient tinctures, powders and capsules. There are loads of vitamins and minerals that boost immunity but there are some superstars in the mix. Among them are olive leaf, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamins B6 and B12, along with probiotics, garlic, echinacea and turmeric. To optimise health, fill your diet with anti-inflammatory foods that prevent low level inflammation, which compromises the body and make it more vulnerable to infection.
Here’s your guide of immunity boosting supplements:
While there are no absolutes and a host of variables, health experts and scientists all agree that getting 20-30 minutes of exercise a day is a win for health and mental wellbeing. Getting physical helps optimise blood pressure, reduces risk of stroke and heart attack, balances metabolism, regulates blood sugar, and improves mood and sleep thanks to a lovely dose of endorphins.
The trick is incorporating exercise on the daily and mixing it up when you’re not an F45 junkie. Here are some epic exercise hacks to inspire your imagination… it all adds up!
The connection between social connectedness and mental wellbeing is so interlinked that the New Zealand government commissioned a research paper on the topic. It says that people who have robust connections and form strong bonds with others are said to have better mental, physical and spiritual resilience, which is exactly what is needed when the colder months hit.
In winter, it's easy to become isolated, stay glued to the remote or digital devices and not leave the house. This doubly impacts stay at home mums, students, people with disabilities, the elderly, and people who work from home.
During winter, it’s important to stay engaged with your community, work and friend groups and seek out or create social opportunities that are simple and sustaining. Here are simple ways to stay connected with your important people this winter:
Influenza is a serious illness that can take people out for as many as three weeks to a month and in extreme cases, can cause death. In 2019, more than 500 people in New Zealand died from the flu, a secondary infection, respiratory illness, or stroke and heart attack triggered by influenza infection making it one of our country’s biggest infectious killers - more than our annual road toll.
The flu is not merely a sniffle or headache, and it’s not the man flu! It can include body chills, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, sore throat, painful muscle aches, night sweats, swollen glands and sinuses, extreme fatigue and incessant coughing. At Life Pharmacy our pharmacists provide vaccination services that protect against influenza, which is free for pregnant women.
Prevention is better than the cure. You deserve a year of health and happiness, so discover how Life Pharmacy can keep you winter well here .
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