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Updated by Louise McTigue on Sep 15, 2014
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Boost Your Immune System To Beat The Winter Blues

Here's a list of ways to boost your immune system and fend off coughs and colds.
Winter’s drawing ever closer, so it’s time to start looking after your health before you fall prey to all those nasty bugs that are waiting to pounce. Here are six proactive ways to boost your immune system and thereby ward off illness. The list includes a few resources in the Surrey area – but the principles apply wherever you are and you’re sure to find similar resources in your area.

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care”

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your immune system will be depressed. Research has shown that a lack of proper sleep inhibits the body from making the required number of antibodies to fight off infection. There are a whole host of reasons why your sleep patterns may be disturbed. The University of Surrey’s Sleep Research Centre carries out ground-breaking sleep studies. The website includes top tips on how to improve your sleep, quizzes and the opportunity to get involved in clinical trials: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fhms/research/centres/ssrc/

Prevention is better than cure

If you are troubled by minor aches and pains or a general feeling of malaise, there could be a deeper-rooted cause. Any symptoms that are generally undermining your well-being or preventing you from functioning at 100% could be an indicator of an underlying problem. The good news is that many of these can be treated simply, quickly and without resorting to conventional pills and potions. For a free holistic health check and to discover a range of specialist therapies from osteopathy to kinesiology that could help you get back into fighting fit condition, have a look at the services provided by Reve Pavilion at http://www.reve-pavilion.co.uk

Garbage in, garbage out

We were built to eat a simple diet of meat, fruit, vegetables and grains, but as the years go by, we are putting more and more processed, fatty and complex carbohydrates into our bodies. This hasn’t just led to what appears to be an epidemic of obesity and other health-related illnesses. Food also governs mood and can affect your energy levels. For basic advice on how to eat well, change your diet and lose weight, use the NHS’s site as a starting point: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/

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Stressed to the eyeballs

Stressed to the eyeballs

Even conventional medicine recognises that a healthy mind can promote a healthy body. It’s easy not to notice stress building up as the days shorten and Christmas draws near. Try the Mindfulness course from the Mental Health Foundation, a registered charity with over 60 years’ experience of researching and looking after the nation’s mental health: http://www.bemindfulonline.com/. The course has been researched by Oxford University which found that on average course participants were able to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress significantly. The course can be taken entirely online and completed in as little as 4 weeks at a cost of £60.

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Fighting fit

Fighting fit

We all know exercise is beneficial- we’re more able to stave off infections, from minor colds to more serious illnesses if we’re physically fit. You don’t have to quite go to the extremes of joining the Army, though they do have a useful guide and an app to building stamina and strength at http://www.army.mod.uk/join/20261.aspx Why not look at the range of activities on offer at www.surreysportspark.co.uk/ where you can get involved in sport, group fitness, exercise, dance, well-being sessions or swimming?

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Laughter really is the best medicine

Laughter really is the best medicine

Having a good laugh could be more critical to your health than you think. Humour can help improve your immunity to passing infections. The process decreases stress hormones and increases the body’s production of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. It also releases endorphins which improve your sense of well-being and can even relieve pain in small amounts. To find the funny side in Surrey, try a comedy club like http://www.crackcomedy.com/woking.htm