As the cold weather approaches and the fight against COVID-19 continues, boosting your immune system is more important than ever. Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is one of the best ways to help strengthen your immune system and protect yourself from viruses and infections.

Here are five tips to give your immune system an extra boost!

1. Eat a balanced diet

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most effective ways to boost your immune system. According to the Australian Dietary Guideline, a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats is essential in supplying your body with adequate micronutrients. These micronutrients feed the immune system and strengthen your body’s ability to fight viruses. The Australian Dietary Guideline also suggests two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day is optimal for adults.

Check out this video on how to create a well-balanced meal! 


2. Drink plenty of water

According to the Australian Department of Health, adult women need 8 cups (around 2L) and adult men need 10 cups (around 2.5L) of fluid per day. Drinking water helps to remove toxins from the body. This will boost the overall function of your immune system and ensure you maintain hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated can help avoid tension, headaches and feeling light-headed. 

Check out this video on the 8 health benefits of drinking water! 


3. Increase vitamin intake

It’s important your body gets enough vitamins each day. Even when maintaining a healthy diet, sometimes our bodies may have vitamin deficiencies. A vitamin deficiency can weaken your immune system. Research conducted by senior naturopath Jennifer Ward shows how  vitamins are essential for a strong immune system. “Zinc, selenium, vitamins A, C, E and B may help to optimise immune system functions including improving the defence function and therefore resistance to infection,” she said.

Check out this video on how to optimise your vitamin intake!


4. Exercise regularly 

Regular physical activity can boost your immune system. Exercise increases blood circulation and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Experts recommend aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Although we are limited in attending gyms or participating in group exercises due to COVID-19, Exercise and Sports Centre Australia says walking, running and bike cycling are effective ways to keep your body moving. Please be aware of COVID-19 restrictions and exercise alone or with one other person if necessary. 

Check out this video for home workout ideas!


5. Get enough sleep

Another important way to boost your immunity is to ensure you get enough sleep. The Australian Department of Health says 8 hours of sleep per night is optimal for your health. Sleep deprivation can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, leaving it weakened and more vulnerable to infections. 

Check out this video for tips on how to sleep better!