A running nose, a sore throat: cold viruses have it particularly easy in autumn - for example because the dry heating air irritates our mucous membranes. This is how you strengthen your body's defences.
In times when so many people reach for throat lozenges or handkerchiefs, everyone would like to avoid the next cold.
Of course, influenza infections cannot always be prevented. But we can support our immune system so that it can do its job as well as possible. Four tips from Prof. Ingo Froboese from the German Sport University Cologne:
According to the sports scientist, drinking too little weakens the natural barrier of the mucous membranes in the throat, throat and nose. And the lung tissue is also weakened, making it easier for pathogens.
You should drink around 30 milliliters of liquid per kilogram of body weight per day, preferably water and unsweetened tea. If you weigh 70 kilograms, it is best to drink at least 2.1 liters a day.
Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats and lentils have one thing in common: They provide the body with a good amount of iron and zinc. These micronutrients ensure that our T cells - the cells that detect viruses in our body - can work properly.
The trace element selenium also helps our body's defenses and can be found, for example, in egg yolk, whole wheat, peanuts or mackerel. By the way, according to Froboese, there is no need for food supplements. Better: variety on the plate.
Stress damages our body - and also the immune system. This is because it reduces the number of immune cells in the blood, and the T cells also divide more slowly. Yet another reason to incorporate regular breaks into everyday life. Just a few moments - three deep breaths, enjoying a cup of coffee, for example - help to reduce the stress level.
Even if the wet, gray autumn is rather uninviting: exercise in the fresh air is worth it - not only to strengthen the immune system, but also to lift the spirits.
However, Froboese advises against charging the movement with performance pressure and overexertion. It's better to do what you feel like doing the most - whether it's a jog or a relaxing walk.
(This article was first published on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.)