Building Your Immune System cover graphic

How to Improve Your Immune System This Winter Season

Introduction to Our Immune System

Is it just me or does it seem like our immune system is mostly compromised during wintertime? Well, if that’s you then we’ve got some great tips that will help you boost your immune system and drastically decrease your chances of having a compromised immune system this winter.

Our immune system is critical to maintain proper health. However, many people don’t understand what the immune system is or how it functions. We are going to go over a brief overview of how the parts of the immune system, as well as, how it functions.

How Our Immune System Functions

Our immune systems are an integral part of our overall health. Our immune system is comprised of a complex network of cells, chemicals, tissues, and organs, which all function to prevent or limit infection.

The parts of the immune system include.

  • Skin – First line of defense
  • Bone Marrow – Helps produce immune cells
  • Thymus – Gland in the upper chest where some immune cells mature
  • Lymphatic System – A network of tiny vessels which allows immune cells to travel between tissues and the bloodstream and contains white blood cells (mostly T-Cells and B-cells.
  • Lymph Nodes – Small lumps in the groin, armpit, and around the neck and elsewhere that help the lymphatic system communicate.
  • Spleen – Organ, under the ribs on the left that processes information from blood.
  • Mucous Membranes – Like, the lining inside the mouth.

Our immune system can recognize harmful particles that enter and invade the body. In response, the body produces white blood cells (T-cells) to fight the infection. The white blood cells are like our body’s military. They identify the threat and produce antibodies to fight while triggering other immune responses.

There is still much unknown about the variations parts of the immune system and how they function together.

How The Cold Weather Affects Immunity

  • During the winter, people spend more time indoors and in close contact with others increasing your risk of infection.
  • Cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows the blood vessels increasing the risk of heart attack.
  • In the winter, the cold, dry, air and the lack of sunlight negatively affects our body's ability to fight respiratory infections such as the flu.
  • Humidity diminishes the effectiveness of our body's first line of defense - mucous.

Building Your Immune System

Today, science is still unable to fully tell us how we can actually “build up” our immune system. The immune system is comprised of various parts which perform various functions which makes it more difficult to comprise an adequate science backed answer. What science does tell us is that one of the best ways to prevent compromising your immune system is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The practical steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle are as follows.

  • Engage in Regular Exercise
  • Consume immune boosting foods
  • Get Adequate Sleep
  • Reduce Stress
  • Wash your hands regularly and practice proper hygiene
  • Regular Checkups with Primary Care Physician


Building our immune systems can be a tricky thing. More studies are needed for us to gain a better understanding of how our immune system functions. However, reasonable steps can be taken to decrease the risk of infection. Following basic healthy living guidelines such as proper diet, adequate sleep, reducing stress, practicing safe distance, washing hands regularly, and regular physical activity will limit your risk of exposure.

Works Cited

How to boost your immune system (

Seasonal changes in immune function – PubMed (

Immune system | healthdirect

Overview of the Immune System | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Similar Posts