Thursday 3 December 2015

Top tips to help maintain a healthy immune system this winter

As I sat on the bus coming home from work today, I counted five people sneezing and coughing all over the place and wondered how long it will be before I succumb to the winter bugs. So far, I've managed to fight off the colds, but being a teacher, I always seem to fall ill as soon as I'm on holiday - many of my colleagues say the same thing so I'm not sure if that's Sod's Law or if it's something to do with my body winding down with the change of routine. Either way, it was great to hear from Actimel who are showcasing the benefits of their little bottles of yogurt drink for supporting the immune system when consumed as part of a healthy breakfast. 

They have been working with Dr Sarah Jarvis and Dr David Lewis to compile a list of top tips for keeping a healthy immune system, and I was very chuffed to see that my own ideas on how to keep fighting fit over winter are on the list. Firstly, I eat loads of fresh fruit and secondly, even if it's cold, I still like to bundle everyone up in warm clothes and get out in the fresh air for long walks and geocaching adventures. They also sent me through a lovely pamper package including a snuggly scarf to keep me warm, an eye mask to help me get a good night's sleep and reduce my stress levels and a shopping voucher to fill up the bowl with lots of lovely fresh fruit to accompany the Actimel - all of which should help keep the winter bugs at bay. Here's their advice :

Top tips for maintaining a healthy immune system from Dr Sarah Jarvis and Dr David Lewis

1) You are what you eat. The more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to come down with minor ailments like coughs and colds. Ideally, eat a rainbow - different coloured veg and fruit contain different combinations of vitamins

2) Treasure your friends! While we may catch colds from other people, people who have close relationships with friends have stronger immune systems than loners. Make time after work to connect with friends, no matter how tired you are

3) Maybe grandma was right? Colds are caused by viruses, not by getting cold. But cold viruses may find it easier to bypass the natural defence systems in your upper airways if you breathe them in with cold air. No need to huddle indoors all winter, but wear a scarf over your mouth and nose if it's really chilly

4) Get a good night’s sleep. Research suggests at least 7 hours is necessary to maintain good health. Avoid working at mentally demanding tasks right up to the moment you turn off the lights, steer clear of caffeinated drinks (i.e. tea, coffee, colas) for at least three hours before bedtime. Do not view your computer, tablet or phone in bed – the blue light from such devices makes it far harder to fall asleep

5) Do regular, brisk, exercise, whilst enjoying some fresh air. This helps you stay slim and trim and stimulates the brain’s production of mood enhancing substances, such as endorphins. Feeling good about life helps safeguard physical well-being

6) Reduce stress. Give yourself at least 15 minutes ‘me time’ daily. Sit or lie down in a quiet room. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in some beautiful place where you feel completely safe and at peace. Slow your breathing to six inhalations and exhalations per minute and, each time you breathe out, feel yourself becoming more and more deeply relaxed as all the stress and tension flows away from your body and into the surrounding air.

That all sounds good to me. Drinking a bottle of Actimel with breakfast can also help because they contain vitamins B6 and D that support the normal function of the immune system, alongside L Casei Danone.

If you're eagle-eyed, you may have noticed the promotional pack with five chances to win £10,000. If you find an alarm clock under your Actimel gold lid, you've won £10,000 - it's as simple as that !

For more information about the giveaway or top tips on keeping healthy, visit

Disclosure : I received a pamper pack from Actimel.

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