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Strengthening the immune system

Are your work colleagues sneezing once again? Or perhaps you yourself are starting to feel a cold coming on? The following simple tips can strengthen your immune system and help you stay healthy and enjoy the autumn and winter days.

The days are getting shorter, with temperatures declining steadily. And with it the season of colds and flues is upon us as well. It's therefore all the more important to boost your body's defences and stay healthy during the colder part of the year.

Paying attention to a balanced diet is always a good idea, especially during the autumn and winter months. This is because a healthy diet will strengthen the immune system. We therefore recommend that you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure that your body gets the vitamins it needs. To stay in shape, you will also need sufficient minerals, which you can get them from eggs, fish and lentils, all of which are rich in zinc and selenium.

And don’t forget to take in enough liquids. Even though you perspire less in winter and are generally less thirsty, it’s recommended that you drink around two litres of fluids a day. Otherwise your membranes will dry out and the mucous barrier in your nose and throat will no longer protect you fully against viruses.

We recommend that you spend time outdoors – ideally during lunch – and do some sport. This kills two birds with one stone: the sunlight helps you produce the vitamin D you need and the exercise will stimulate your immune system. But make sure you don’t overdo it, because too much exertion can weaken rather than strengthen the immune system.

Besides getting enough exercise, you should also plan sufficient time for relaxation. Here, everyone needs to make their own best choice. Whatever you do to unwind will be beneficial. Furthermore, it’s especially important to get enough sleep. Sleeping less than four or five hours a night will reduce the defensive cells of your immune system drastically.

Avoiding cold viruses
You can greatly reduce the chances of catching a virus, for instance by avoiding close contact with others, washing your hands regularly, and keeping your distance when sneezing or coughing. And last but not least, make sure that the air in your apartment or office has enough humidity so that your mucous membranes don’t dry out.

If you have any further questions about your health, you can ask the doctors and medical staff at the sante24 health advice helpline for expert advice – free of charge, 24 hours a day. On request, sante24 can also make a doctor’s appointment for you. Tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86