June 18, 2024

The Secret to Boosting Your Immune System This Autumn and Winter

Train like Olympic athlete Eilish McColgan and eat like Tina Lond-Caulk aka The Nutrition Guru to help support your body + mind during the winter months

There are undoubtably SO many joys to the final months of the year, from wrapping up in winter knits to crunching through the leaves on long winter walks, cinnamon latte in hand! But, as we all know, the harsh reality is that those shorter, darker days are coming (and boy, do they drag on!), so we need a game plan to feel at our best physically and mentally.

According to National Institute of Health Excellence, adults in the UK experience on average 2-3 colds per year – most frequently in the winter months. In addition, it’s hard to avoid recent headlines re. the spread of new Covid variants in the UK, as the World Health Organisation classifies the new Pirola variant as “under monitoring”.

Don’t fear, we’ve got you covered with some simple, positive life hacks you can take to support and strengthen the immune system – right now!

  1. Power up your diet: Revive Active Brand Ambassador, Tina Lond Caulk AKA @thenutritionguru explains, “We now know that what we eat interacts with our gut microbes, which in turn affects our immune function, general health and mental wellbeing.  People tend to crave warming, carb-heavy food in the colder months – that’s a natural instinct and not necessarily unhealthy in moderation, However, my mantra is, it’s about adding, not taking away! So, don’t be afraid of foods or deny yourself, but look for quick and easy opportunities to “power up” your daily diet. For example, add in some warming cinnamon, stewed apple and chia seeds to your morning cereal or porridge, throw in some butter beans or chickpeas to a lunch time soup, add sliced peppers and tomatoes to a sandwich and sneak in some extra veg to a pasta bake or Bolognese.”

  2. Know your UPFsTina says, “Be mindful of ultra processed foods (UPFs) and try to reduce where . UPFs are classified as those that have 5 ingredients or more – and tend to include many additives and ingredients that are not typically used in home cooking, such as preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners, and artificial colours and flavours. Examples include ice cream, ham, sausages, crisps, mass-produced bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, carbonated drinks, fruit-flavoured yogurts and instant soups. And, when you are focusing on natural, fresh ingredients, try to eat the rainbow! Including a range of different coloured fruits and vegetables into your diet will increase all the nutrients your body is getting and support your energy levels. There’s some wonderful seasonal produce around at this time of your – think sprouting broccoli, aubergine, pumpkin, pears, blackberries, clementines, kale, brussels sprouts and red cabbage.
  3. A mug of wellness: It’s not just what you eat – but also what you drink – that counts towards winter wellness.  Keep hydrated. throughout the day with plenty of water – it can be more of a chore drinking cooler beverages in the winter, but do try to keep fluids high, as dehydration can make you feel sluggish and fatigued. A warming brew is not only a necessity in the winter months, but one of life’s great, small pleasures – try to limit yourself to 2-3 caffeine-based drinks a day (remember that green tea and tea also count, as well as coffee!) and have a “cut off” point of 3pm (to limit negatively impacting sleep). Tina says, “Here are some yummy, warming seasonal alternatives to try – malt drink (e.g. Ovaltine) with sprinkled cinnamon, chai or turmeric latte or, of course, the classic hot chocolate. For a lower sugar, alcohol free “fizz”try mixing pomegranate, basil and spring water.
  4. Keep moving: Revive Active Brand Ambassador, three-time Olympian, Commonwealth Champion and 10K European record holder, Eilish McColgan has some advice to help keep you on track with exercise; “I travel a lot for training and competitions, so I do pick up colds especially on flights, which can really bring down my energy levels and affect my ability to train and compete. Since taking super supplement – Zest Active – I can honestly saymy immune system has been strengthened. In terms of exercise, my advice is to keep moving, but to adapt your regular routine if you need to. So, whilst training outdoors in the winter can help form and endurance (and provide much needed Vitamin-D!), if the weather is atrocious or you just can’t face the cold – then try some strength and condition exercises at home or use cardio equipment in the gym. During rest periods or when recovering from injury, I use a mix of activities to keep active and stay strong including swimming, the spin bike and cross trainer. Also, taking rest days is important for muscle recovery and to avoid fatigue.” 
  5. Rest, reset, repeat: Our body regenerates when we sleep, so getting enough rest is vital to keep the immune system strong and healthy. Tina adds, “Getting a good night’s sleep is a really important factor in determining our general health and mental wellbeing. Studies also show that sleep is linked to metabolic health, and sleeping patterns can have an impact on blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes. So, prioritise your sleep in the winter months – keep a sleep journal or use a sleep tracker device and try to make small adjustments such as going to bed a little bit earlier each night to improve the quality of your slumber.
Zest Active by Revive Active is a super supplement of 25 active  ingredients to work together to strengthen the immune system, boost energy levels and support your brain and muscle function. The daily sachet is dissolved in water (250-300ml) – or add to a juice or smoothie!- and has a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and beta glucans combined with other nutrients such as, Taurine, L-Theanine and L-Lysine. Zest Active, RRP: £29.95 for a one-month supply. Available at reviveactive.com, John Bell and Croyden, Wholefoods, Revital and across select Holland and Barrett stores and online.

 

Join the conversation on Instagram @reviveactive_uk