Five Ways to Boost Your Immune System

March 26, 2024

Kristal Seal


Have a cough that just won’t let up? Does someone you know have the flu, or is the stomach bug doing a round at work or school?

During the winter, we tend to spread germs and get sick. In most areas, the cold, dry weather and air decreases our immune system’s strength and tends to keep us indoors, spreading germs more easily. No one wants to end up sick, so let’s discuss some ways you can stay healthy when being outside simply isn’t doable. The key is to strengthen your immune system.

  1. Wash your hands.

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but washing your hands is an important part of preventing germs from entering your body. Germs are quickly picked up by touching doorknobs and light switches. Make sure to wash your hands before cooking, eating, anytime they are dirty and after using the restroom. This will help boost your immune system by disrupting the chain of infection.

  1. Get enough sleep.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body gets worn down and this affects your immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Your body resets when you sleep, and it  even fights infections and inflammation. Turn in early and wake up with an immune system ready to fight off whatever comes your way during the day.

  1. Eat fruits and veggies.

Your body’s immune system needs nutrients to work optimally. While some people take supplements, a diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables is a great way to enhance immunity. There is no one magical nutrient that will prevent illness, but the combination of nutrients helps build the strong immune system you need during the winter months and peaks of sickness. We have all heard of vitamin C and zinc, but make sure to include beta-carotene, and vitamins D, E and B6 too.

  1. Stay hydrated.

Drink water. It’s always important to stay hydrated, but many people tend to decrease their water intake in the cooler months because they are not hot. Our body is mostly made of water and staying hydrated plays an important role in promoting the immune system. You can even get creative and enjoy more soups and warm beverages while it’s cold out.

  1. Reduce stress.

Prolonged stress has been known to reduce the immune system’s effectiveness. It’s hard to eliminate stress from our lives completely but being able to relax is a great way to keep our bodies strong. You can try meditation, exercise, reading and/or journaling to escape from daily worries. Anything that allows you to step away from the hectic day-to-day of life is a great way to decrease stress in your life.

Sounds simple right? Be sure to integrate these steps not only daily, but a bit extra while it’s cold out. You just might find yourself healthier and ready to fight off seasonal sickness.

Dive deeper into helping others stay healthy with a nursing program at American College of Education.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Kristal Seal
Kristal Seal, RN to BSN

Kristal Seal is a Registered Nurse (RN) who completed her B.S. in Nursing (BSN) at ACE. She has 14 years' experience as a nurse in the areas of skilled nursing, acute care, primary care, education and labor and delivery. She enjoys learning new skills and is a proud member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She lives in Jeffersonville, Indiana with her husband, daughter and cats. When she's not nursing, Kristal enjoys gardening, reading and helping others.

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