The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family while creating lasting memories, for children and aging parents alike. There are always the usual stresses that arise this time of year, like making sure gifts are bought, meals are sorted, and activities are planned to keep everyone happy. However, […]
It’s October, which means cold and flu season are officially upon us. While it’s important for anyone to have their immune system in peak physical condition to be able to fight off viruses, especially this time of year, it’s even more important for those who are older. Immunity decreases and weakens with age as immune cells start to become less effective. This means that, when you do come down with something, it’s going to be a lot harder to get over it than it used to be when you were a kid. With that being said, there are ways to get ahead of it to keep you healthy as you age. Here are five tips to help keep your immune system strong:
1. Wash your hands.
You heard it all the time growing up, and the same rules still apply. Washing your hands is one of the best (and easiest) preventative measures to keep you from getting sick. Wash with soap and water anytime you encounter germs (eg. after you go to the bathroom, blow your nose, interact with someone who’s sick, etc.). If you don’t have access to a sink, you can use hand sanitizer instead.
2. Get the proper amount of sleep.
Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system. If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, you have a higher risk of getting sick after being exposed to a virus, and your recovery time could also be longer. Less sleep also leads to inflammation. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours a night.
3. Maintain a healthy diet.
To ensure your immune system is in fighting condition, you need to be fueling it with the right food. Get the proper nutrients and vitamins by filling your plate with plenty of color (fruits and veggies), protein, and grains. Incorporate foods into your diet that have been associated with helping strengthen immunity, such as citrus, green tea, turmeric, spinach, and blueberries, which have natural antioxidants.
4. Exercise regularly.
Staying active does a number of things to help you stay healthy. It keeps you fit, lowers inflammation, promotes circulation, reduces stress, and helps cells move more freely. In addition, it could boost production of immune cells. You don’t need to be a workout junkie to reap the benefits. Just make sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (this could include walking) most days of the week. If you have limited mobility, there are still ways to get your body moving.
5. Manage your stress.
While stress every now and then won’t hurt, high stress levels for extended periods of time can negatively affect your immune system. There are many ways you can help lower stress, but they can vary from person to person. As listed above, getting the right amount of sleep and exercising can help reduce stress and therefore benefit your immune system. Other popular stress-relieving techniques are meditating, yoga, and listening to calming music.
When you age, your immune system ages with you. There’s no getting around that. What you do have a say in, though, is how effective your immune system is with age. By implementing changes in your life and maintaining a healthy daily routine, you can give your body the extra strength it needs to fight off viruses. If you have any more questions about ways to get ahead of aging, contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112 or visit out website at https://paradiselivingcenters.com/.