HELENA — As cold and flu season approaches during the second winter of the COVID pandemic, having a robust immune system is essential to help avoid getting sick.
MedlinePlus.Gov suggests going to the gym or working out regularly - not only to break a sweat but also to help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways.
Whitney Taylor with Crossroads Sports and Fitness says, "Working out increases antibodies, which your antibodies are there to help protect against disease."
Medline also says that antibodies and white blood cells are the immune system cells that fight disease.
Another immune system booster is eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Jennifer Colegrove, a dietitian with St. Peter's Health, suggests few good options to add to the grocery list to stay healthy.
Colegrove says, "Partially, foods with a high vitamin C, so things like citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, limes, berries, strawberries, and the green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C."
Another nutrient to look for is zinc, which comes from our meats, nuts, beans, and other protein-based foods.
A combination of breaking a sweat and eating nutritious foods could help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.
"It's important just for overall health, which the healthier you are with less chronic disease, the better immune system you are going to have," said Colegrove.
"It's those instant endorphins that you get from working out—those are feel-good chemicals that are released into your body, so you have those, and like I said, if you don't believe me. You should just try it," said Taylor.