March 08, 2018 3 min read

Cold and flu season has a way of sticking around a lot longer than anyone bargained for, and amidst the headaches, stinging coughs and clogged sinuses, most of us find ourselves wishing away a debilitating cold during the winter months.

We’re all aware of the usual immune system-boosting tips like drink lots of water, exercise, wash your hands, etc., but there are a few slightly unconventional methods that you may not have heard of. So how can you heal up quicker, or bet yet, not catch the bug in the first place? Here are five proven methods to boost your immune system:

Take cold showers

A research study back in 1993 revealed that people who took daily cold showers had more white blood cells to fight off viruses than those who took hot showers. As your body works to heat up after a cold shower, your metabolic rate increases, releasing more white blood cells and activating your immune system.

But let’s be real, who wants to take a cold shower? Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you spend an hour lathering in ice water. Take your regular hot shower, and try finishing it off with a quick cold rinse.

Drink bone broth

We all know about the comforting powers of good ‘ol chicken soup, but you may or may not have heard about bone broth. Bone broth is what you get when you take animal bones and connective tissue, boil them, let them simmer for 10 - 20+ hours, and add herbs, vegetables and spices. Bones are loaded with proteins, anti-inflammatory amino acids, minerals, and other healing compounds, and the long simmering process ensures that all of that goodness is fully extracted and made available for you to consume. Learn more about bone broth, its benefits, and where you can get a hold of some.

Sleep more

Okay, so this one is pretty conventional, but we still had to squeeze it in. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but prioritizing your sleep not only helps you recover quicker, but it helps strengthen your immune system, preventing sickness in the first place. Learn more about how you can get a better sleep.

Invest in R&R

We all know that stress is bad for us. But did you know that your stress levels significantly affect your immune system? Actively managing the stress in your life can help you avoid illness and recover quickly when you do get sick. Get a massage, practice regular meditation, see a chiropractor, or go to a yoga class. Whatever it is, find something that you can do consistently throughout the week to relieve stress.

Get more sun

Vitamin D plays a huge part in strengthening your immune system, and research has proven time and time again that Americans are highly deficient in this area. As we all know, sunshine is the primary source of vitamin D, so during colder months, the body’s vitamin D deficiency becomes even greater.

On warmer days, take the time to go for a walk or just sit outside during your lunch break. And don’t forget, especially during the colder months, to take your Vitamin D.

Try these five things all year long, and you’ll be smiling all the way through next year’s cold and flu season.

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