Ah fall… the brisk air, the sweet apples, the crisp leaves underfoot… the coughing and sniffling. One of the less lovely things about fall is the immune challenges that often accompany dropping temperatures. And while there’s no silver bullet that guarantees wellness, these five good habits can go a long way toward keeping you in the pink this fall.
1. Clean Up Your Act.
You’ve heard it before, but frequent hand-washing is one of the simplest ways to stay well. Think of all the things you touch during the day, and then think of everyone else who’s touched that shopping cart handle or elevator button. Washing with soap and water can get rid of whatever your mitts picked up throughout the day.
2. Go Down for the Count.
It may seem like your body is idle while you sleep, but it’s actually building up your immune system. Even a single night of insufficient sleep (four or five hours in one study) can lead to a 70 percent drop in natural killer (NK) cells the next day![i] Another study found that when folks are tired, their NK cells become less active, making them more likely to feel under the weather.[ii]
3. "C" to Your Health.
Vitamin C is an immune-boosting powerhouse, and most fruits and vegetables are good sources. The trick is to up your intake before you feel off. Snack on oranges and kiwi, and load up your dinner plate with vitamin C-rich fall veggies like kale and broccoli.
4. Get a Move On.
Fall is a great season to exercise outdoors because the weather is cool but not cold. But exercising anywhere is good for your immunity. One study found that people who exercised five days a week took 40 percent fewer days off work than those who exercised once a week or less.[iii]
5. Befriend Olive Leaf.
A recent study found that a daily tablespoon of olive leaf extract supports your immune cells in ways that could help you fight off immune challenges more effectively.*[iv] This could explain why many folks swear olive leaf helps them stay well. Try mixing Barlean's Olive Leaf Complex in some hot tea for a cozy, immune-boosting treat.