1. Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean may not sound like it’s extra important during winter, but it is! Those winter bugs that cause colds, flu, and other ailments generally find their way into your system via your mouth and nose. But how do they get there? They hitch a ride on your hands – every time you touch a door handle or a desktop or a stair railing that someone else has touched before you, you stand a good chance of picking up a nasty germ.
2. Avoid sugary foods
There’s some evidence that sugary foods can slightly weaken your body’s immune defences. That may not matter all the time, but it’s particularly important during winter.
3. Vitamin C to your immune system
You already know it, but here’s a reminder: vitamin C is the world’s favorite immune-boosting supplement. Start strengthening your immune system with a daily vitamin C tablet before winter, and keep it up all the way through. If it doesn’t help you avoid colds altogether, it will still help minimize their symptoms and reduce their duration.
4. Pineapple juice with breakfast
You might be drinking orange juice with breakfast, to try to increase your vitamin C intake. That’s a good start, but if you like the taste, you’ll find fresh pineapple juice even more effective. Pineapple juice is not only richer in vitamin C than orange juice, it’s also good for digestion.
5. Avoid cigarette
Whether it’s smoke from your own cigarettes or just second-hand smoke in a public place, it can irritate your airways and make minor cold symptoms much more unpleasant.
6. Olive leaves for immunity
Olives may not be to everyone’s taste, but olive leaf certainly should be. Available as an extract in liquid, tablet, or capsule form, olive leaf is the subject of more and more positive research – all pointing to great benefits for winter immunity.
7. Go for a walk in the rain
What’s that? Walk in the rain? And get wet? Well, yes – and at the same time, rediscover the place you live in. The modern habit of avoiding rain has robbed us of one of life’s wonderful experiences. Walk around your neighborhood and see it in a completely different light. Every tree and road sign looks different as the rain drips from it.
8. Take tea
Tea is a delicious and healthy way to warm yourself up, and one of the least appreciated teas of all is chai. Made with normal tea leaves that have been combined with selected spices, chai is best made with warm milk and sweetened with pure honey.
9. Surf the net
If you haven’t found your way around the leading internet sites like Google.com, eBay.com, now is the time to check them out.
In summer, a hot kitchen is an uncomfortable space to work in, but in winter, it’s a lovely escape from the cold. Treat winter as an opportunity to try some hearty recipes, from a simple stew to a tasty roast.
11. Work in the garden
If you care about your garden, you’d better not spend winter hibernating indoors! Winter is the best time for repotting plants or transplanting them to new locations, and it’s also an excellent time to plant perennials.
12. Clear your nose with eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is the great Australian way to clear congestion. One of the best ways to get the decongestant benefits of eucalyptus is by inhaling steam – just pour a few cups of boiling water into a large bowl, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil, and breathe in the steam.
13. Grow a beard
Clearly, growing a beard isn’t for everyone! But if you are planning to give it a try, winter is the time – it’s a lot easier to get used to one in cool weather.
14. Enjoy some berries
Many of us agree that blackberries and raspberries are just about the yummiest of all fruits, and they are certainly nutritious. They are particularly high in vitamin C, and if you can’t get them fresh during winter, they are available packaged and frozen – a perfectly good option for cooking or desserts.
15. Stay water wise
All that winter rain may make it seem silly to be careful with water, but winter rain helps fill the reservoirs that supply us with water all year round. No matter how wet it is outside, don’t go wasting tap water.
16. Watch your weight
Less activity means it’s easy to gain a little weight over winter – but you can’t always guarantee you’ll lose it again in summer. Pay attention to your weight, your exercise level, and your diet – because keeping yourself at a healthy weight is good for you in so many ways.
17. Fix up those cold hands and feet
Poor peripheral circulation can really become bothersome during winter – how can we be expected to sleep soundly if our feet are almost painfully cold? One natural answer may be the circulation-supporting herb Ginkgo biloba.
18. Roast some chestnuts
Or boil them. Chestnuts are readily available in winter these days, and are easily prepared by simply boiling them in water. Wait until they are softened inside, and then enjoy their distinctive winter taste.
Winter makes us less mobile, and the less we move around the more we are at risk of straining a muscle when do start moving. Stick to a daily stretching plan – it’s an excellent and healthy start to the day.
20. Protect and soothe your joints
Joint pain often flares up when the weather worsens, with changes in temperature and humidity working together to cause those aches. Glucosamine is a natural nutrient that helps protect, nourish, and build healthy joint cartilage, and relieve joint pain symptoms such as those caused by arthritis.
21. Relieve a headache
Sniffles and sneezes aren’t the only trouble caused by a cold. Headaches are also common symptoms, and herbs like feverfew and willowbark can provide some gentle and natural relief.