28th February 2024

Five Tips to Boost Your Immune System

Maintaining a robust immune system is crucial during  the colder months of the year to reduce your risk of illness. By prioritising immune health, you empower your body to better defend itself against seasonal threats and promote overall wellbeing. A well-functioning immune system is your body's natural defence against viruses and bacteria, and practicing good hygiene will help prevent the spread of infections. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and maintain cleanliness in your living and working environments. Vaccines are the most effective way of preventing or reducing the severity of illnesses and contribute to overall community immunity. 

Gillian Barrett, Occupational Health Nurse at Mater Private Network in Cork, has put together some practical strategies to help you boost your immune system. 

1. Balanced diet

Consume a nutritious diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, D and zinc, play crucial roles in supporting immune function.

2. Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for overall health, including the immune system. Water facilitates the transfer of nutrients between cells, helps your body eliminate waste efficiently, and is  important for the healthy function of our body’s organs. Adults should aim to drink eight glasses of water per day.

3. Prioritise sleep

Sleep deprivation has wide- ranging negative health consequences. Quality sleep is vital for a well-functioning immune system.  Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to allow your body to repair and regenerate. Try to establish a consistent sleep routine for optimal benefits.

4. Regular exercise

Physical activity improves circulation, promotes healthy weight, and enhances the function of immune cells. Moderate exercise such as a routine 30-minute brisk walk is beneficial in maintaining a healthy immune system.

5. Stress management

Chronic stress can weaken the immune system. Try to add some stress management techniques such as exercise, mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your daily routine to promote mental wellbeing.


“Taking proactive steps to boost your immune system is a fundamental aspect of maintaining good health, especially during times of seasonal illness. Adopting a holistic approach that includes diet, hydration, sleep, and regular exercise together with stress management,t can contribute to a resilient and effective immune response. It's important to note that individual responses may vary, so it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance based on your specific health needs.” - Gillian Barrett, Occupational Health Nurse at Mater Private Network in Cork

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