Get Ready for Winter

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

The days are getting shorter and the autumnal leaves are appearing, all surefire signs of another beginning: Cold and Flu season, and another COVID winter. All signs also point to another wave of COVID infections happening in our community, too. So NOW is the time to get serious about boosting your immune system.

Here are Roslyn Pharmacy’s top 5 tips for preparing your immune system ahead of the upcoming months:

Get some rest

Don't underestimate the power of taking it easy. Putting your body under constant stress causes a low level chronic inflammation in your body, which diverts your immune system from dealing with its primary task at hand: fighting winter illnesses. Reduce stress, take some time every day for you to do pleasurable activities and get good sleep every night.

Follow a healthy diet

Eat the rainbow: eat a variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, such as berries and dark leafy greens. Tea, coffee and dark chocolate are all loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids which help fight inflammation and illnesses. Increase the amount of fermented foods you eat which are loaded with good bacteria. When your body is loaded with good bacteria, there’s no room for viruses and bacteria to adhere to your body and multiply. A lot of people ask us if there’s an easier way to get these nutrients in. The very best way is through your diet, but if you’re finding that difficult, we do have a range of supplements available to make things easier for you. My favourite this year is a range of supplements designed and manufactured in Dunedin: Zestt. They make a range of delicious lozenges that are loaded with bioflavonoids and probiotics, designed specifically for a number of ailments. Their Exhale lozenges are particularly good for upper respiratory infections.

Get some exercise

A 2011 study showed that people who regularly exercise during a week are 43 percent less likely to be sick with an upper respiratory infection. It’s thought that regular exercise stimulates immune cells to “patrol the body” so they can search and destroy infected cells in your body more effectively. If you don’t exercise regularly, just take baby steps. A simple brisk 20-minute walk weekly is an excellent place to begin.

Follow the light

This brisk 20 minute walk that you’re starting also works in with our next tip: make sure you’re getting some natural sunlight in daily. Natural sunlight is our best source of Vitamin D, and vitamin D is super important in your immune system. Better yet, get that morning sunlight in as it helps with our body’s natural rhythms and can help get you going in the mornings, which in turn will help you get better sleep at night.

Keep up with pandemic and flu precautions

Most people are over “it”, but “it” ain’t done with you! The MOST IMPORTANT thing that people can do right now is to get both their COVID booster shot and the flu vaccine as soon as possible. Eligibility and booking information is all available here, so please go there first if you have any questions. Mask wearing and good hand washing helps minimise the spread of all viruses. And RAT tests before gatherings or when you have symptoms can minimise COVID transmission. Don’t forget RAT tests and masks are available from Roslyn Pharmacy for FREE.

People, especially New Zealanders, try to power through their work or school, even when they’re sick. This just increases exposure and risk of transmission to other people. Stay at home and give yourself some time to rest and get better. Pharmacists' orders.

Till next month - Andrew and the team at Roslyn Pharmacy