“Most of us have been sitting tight and safe in our homes, only venturing out for essentials and, as a result, we’ve stayed a lot safer from normal winter bugs than usual. But, don’t relax too much! Your immune system could be weaker than it was seven weeks ago”
As New Zealand prepares to return to a (mostly) normal life – things like doing office work at the office, getting coffees from a cafe and finally getting that long-awaited haircut – we’ve rounded up our top five ways to stay safe, healthy and natural. Most of us have been sitting tight and safe in our homes, only venturing out for essentials and, as a result, we’ve stayed a lot safer from normal winter bugs than usual. But, don’t relax too much! Your immune system could be weaker than it was seven weeks ago: exposure to everyday bugs helps us to challenge our immune system and keep it “fit”. So, while gym closures and the postponement of your football season might have meant you’ve been keeping inside more often than usual, consider that your immune system has been sitting inside losing its conditioning too. And that’s all before we take into account the long-life and packaged foods you might have been living off to save trips into town. Eeeeeek!
Here are five ways to help you and your family stay healthy naturally:
1. Eat Well
Don’t be tempted by the opening of all your favourite takeaway joints. Eating well is one of the best ways to boost your immune system. Immunity starts in your gut so encourage healthy bacteria by eating whole fruits and vegetables. The more variety the better. Citrus fruits are particularly rich in Vitamin C and other helpful foods include unsweetened yoghurt, fermented foods, legumes, onions and garlic.
2. Stick to a Sleep Routine
The simplest, but often the most difficult way to stay healthy is to get enough sleep. This sometimes feels like an impossible task, but you have more control over your sleep than you probably think. Firstly, it’s important to keep a routine. Pick a bedtime and stick to it – this helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize your sleep. Also, try not to sleep in too much on weekends – this can unnecessarily confuse your routine. If stress or restlessness is a problem our Sleepwell Cream is formulated with lavender and marjoram essential oils to help calm the mind and support a deep and restful sleep. Exercising during the day and avoiding blue light from your devices before bed will also help you sleep better. For more information visit helpguide.
3. Exercise (moderately)
Moderate exercise like brisk walking, jogging, hiking or cycling can boost your immunity. Research shows that while intense exercise like marathon running can have negative effects, moderate exercise can be immuno-enhancing. On top of this, spending time outdoors while exercising increases your levels of vitamin D and will encourage healthy sleep patterns; both which then help to increase your immune system.
4. Use Natural Immunity Boosters
Nature is full of innovative and efficient ways of solving problems so it should come as no surprise to realise that nature can also be called upon in the effort to support your immune system. We’ve taken advantage of our natural resources to create our Germ Defence Cream. Thyme, tea tree and clove essential oils create a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic blend to provide you with a shield against germs. Apply a small amount to the soles of feet, neck area, temples and/or under your nose
5. Wash and Sanitise Your Hands
While boosting your immunity as much as possible is important, it won’t be enough all of the time. Even the healthiest, most well-rested person can get sick; this means that it’s important to try and stop bugs at the door i.e. at your hands. Thoroughly washing and drying your hands often is a good idea – bacteria is resilient and can live on many surfaces for days. Hand sanitiser is a convenient solution when hand-washing is impossible or impractical (I’m sure we’ve all had that moment - hesitating in front of a closed bathroom door with our freshly cleaned hands) but many hand sanitisers are extremely drying on skin. This is why we’ve developed a 100% natural hand sanitiser that is gentle on your hands while effectively killing bacteria. Put it in your handbag to use while you’re out and about and keep bugs at bay.
So, when you’ve dusted off those boots and made sure that your car will start, double check that you’re doing all that you can to keep you and your family well before venturing into the unknowns of alert level two. For more natural products to help stay healthy, shop our winter wellness range online or in-store.
-by Katrina Smeaton, Marketing Assistant at The Herb Farm