How to Help Boost Your Immune System
Tips from Laura Dowling, LloydsPharmacy Stillorgan Supervising Pharmacist Manager, to support your immune system and general health
Plenty of sleep
The impact that sleep can have on our mental and physical health is often sorely underrated. We should be aiming for 7-8 hours, more for younger children. Forming and maintaining good sleeping habits can be hugely beneficial, not only on the length of sleep but also on the quality. You may find it harder to get to sleep during this anxious time, so sticking to a routine can really help.
You should be going to bed at the same time each evening and sleeping in a cool dark room. Drinking a warm drink before bed or having a warm bath with some lavender oil can help ease the body into sleep. These steps help raise the body temperature, and then in turn when it drops your body is in a state which makes falling asleep easier.
Although it can be tempting to have a night cap, alcohol disturbs your quality of sleep and can make you wake earlier than normal. This means that your sleep is not as restful and isn’t as beneficial. As the clocks have now changed, mornings are brighter too, so try investing in a sleep mask to help extend your sleep.
We have been told this from a young age, so it won’t come as any surprise, but eating a well-balanced diet is so important. We should be aiming for 7 portions a day of fruit and vegetables, focusing on more vegetables than fruit as too many fruit sugars are not good for our systems.
Making sure that you get a range of whole grains, pulses, lean meats and fishes that are high in omegas oils are also important elements in helping to boost your immune system.
Although your usual form of exercise might be out of the question at the moment, there are plenty of alternatives to keep you active. You can still get some fresh air and go for a walk, jog or cycle within a 2km radius of your home.
Anything that increases the pulse rate and helps to keep you supple and flexible. There are a range of online classes to help keep you and the family active, no matter what your fitness level.
Take time to rest and relax
Stress can have a hugely negative impact on your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. We all need to ensure that we are caring for our minds as well as our bodies. Hanging around the house can be really demotivating and can really affect your mood. To combat this, it is important to set aside time in your day to rest and do something for yourself that supports your mental wellbeing. Whether that is reading a book, playing cards or meditating.
If you still feel you are missing certain nutrients then speak to your LloydsPharmacy pharmacist and they can help assist you. For example folic acid is important for women before they become pregnant and in the early stages of pregnancy. Vitamin D is also important since our lovely Irish weather doesn’t allow for much sun.
You can shop our online range of Vitamins & Supplements here.
Please note we are implementing safety measures in response to COVID-19 which limits 2 people per store. Please respect your fellow shoppers and maintain a distance of at least 2 metres at all times. If you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or cough please DO NOT call into your local Pharmacy or GP and phone instead. If you suspect you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate and contact the HSE on 1850 24 1850.