Many people consider autumn the best season of the year. And with seasonal fruits and vegetables, the beautiful colours of the trees, and the cool, crisp weather, autumn is especially easy to love. But autumn isn’t all warm sweaters and pumpkin spiced lattes… it also brings the dreaded cold and flu season.
But before you hide under the cosiest blanket you own, we’re here to tell you that there are easy ways to fight back against cold and flu season and support your immune system all year long. Here are 5 simple rituals for immunity to support your body’s natural functions.
What does the immune system do?
Let’s start with the basics. The immune system is your body’s first line of defence against germs and bacteria. But if your immune system can't fight off those invaders, you're more susceptible to illnesses, such as the flu or the common cold.
Different organs, cells, and proteins work together to keep you healthy, but external factors can strengthen or weaken your immune system. When you support your immune system, it supports you right back by keeping you healthy!
Wellness rituals and tips for staying healthy
1. Move your body
Move through downward dog daily or go for a fall bike ride and let the cool breeze blow across your cheeks. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, as long as you’re moving for 30 minutes a day, you’re supporting your immune system. Regular exercise also helps to support your lymphatic system and helps increase blood flow.
2. Create a soothing nighttime ritual
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is essential if you want to feel your best. Sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illnesses… so if you want to avoid coughing, sneezing, and sniffling, you should definitely make sleep your number one priority during "sick season."
When you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to engage in less-healthy habits like picking up fast food, skipping a workout, or indulging in sweets.
So what's the secret to better sleep? Create a nighttime ritual you look forward to. Indulge in a warm bubble bath, cosy up with your favourite book, or sip on a calming Golden Milk. And while having restful nights might be more challenging for some, there are a few ways that may improve your sleep naturally. What’s more important is to listen to your body, take the time to try different rituals, and understand what works best for you.
3. Spend time in nature
For most people, working from home has significantly reduced time spent outdoors. But there are major benefits to getting outside, especially when it comes to reducing chronic stress. Stress can wreak havoc on your immune system, so keeping calm is one of the best ways you can support your immune system.
Go for a walk, hike, visit a farmers market, or enjoy a picnic in the park. Not only will you be able to enjoy the fall foliage, but you’ll also get the added benefit of soaking up some essential vitamin D. Reading a few pages of your favourite book on your balcony will already be a great help for both your body and your mind!
4. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies
Apples, beetroots & lemons in winter; rhubarb, spinach & cherries in spring; apricots, asparagus & aubergines in summer; pumpkins, courgette & broccolis in autumn… Each season counts a whole array of delicious (and colourful) fruits and vegetables.
Eating seasonally means you’re getting fresher, better tasting, more nutrient-dense foods. And if that weren’t enough, you’re able to support local farmers, which is a BIG plus!
A healthy diet is one of the easiest (and yummiest!) ways to support your immune cells so you can be sure they’re functioning properly; click here to discover delicious recipes that will feel like a treat for both your taste buds and your immune system.
5. Support your immune system with superfoods
Turmeric, cacao, herbal adaptogens, potent plant greens such as spirulina, wheatgrass and barley grass have all been studied and shown to offer benefits for some people suffering from chronic health issues.