One of the concerns which start to crop up with age is health. It is understandable, as simple things which are mostly harmless become more and more serious with age. So, it is completely normal that as you age you want to strengthen your immune system and protect yourself. In order to help with this, we have put together a list if immune system boosting tips for seniors. We hope you find it helpful.
Stress is something we all deal with in our lives, to the point that it’s considered normal, and to an extent we get used to dealing with it. However, stress has a very negative effect on our immune systems over long periods of time. It spreads through our body and weakens our immune system over time. It should be noted that short-term stress isn’t particularly dangerous. Chronic stress, however, will lower immune system response and make you more susceptible to illness. So, take the time to destress. Enjoy some social activities or anything you find relaxing. Reading and gardening are especially effective at this. Otherwise, you can consider remedies which help you copewith stress. Remember, while you don’t actively feel the effects of stress, it shouldn’t be ignored.
Avoiding stress is important when trying to keep your immune system healthy.
Spend time outside
When it comes to immune system boosting tips for seniors, it doesn’t get much easier than getting more vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential part of the immune system, and if it gets too low your doctor might prescribe you with supplements. However, spending time in the sun is a much easier way to replenish vitamin D. Your body will naturally convert vitamin D from exposure to the sun. But, the time needed for this to happen will vary from person to person. Some only need 15 minutes, others will need even up to 2 hours. As such, when the sun isn’t too strong, head outside and spend some time in the sun.
Get plenty of sleep
A lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, lowers the effectiveness of your immune system. This becomes even more apparent with age, and sleep becomes more and more important as you get older. In addition to your immune system, getting plenty of sleep helps with memory, concentration and general brain function. Generally speaking, a healthy amount of sleep is anywhere between 7 and 9 hours every night. In order to have quality sleep, you should try to keep your room dark and quiet, and avoid having long naps during the day. A set sleeping schedule helps as well. In addition, diet changes can be helpful to the quality of your sleep.
Getting enough sleep becomes more and more important as you get older.
Next on the list of immune system boosting tips for seniors is a healthy diet. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is a very easy way to boost your immune system. A diet full of fruits and vegetables, specifically containing vitamins and antioxidants helps a lot. Also, generally speaking, a eating less sugar, fat and processed food is helpful. Additionally, if you feel like you still lack vitamins after swapping to a healthy diet, you can always ask your doctor for multivitamin or herbal supplements.
Quit smoking and reduce caffeine
While smoking and caffeine are good short term solutions to stress, their aftereffects can be harmful. Smoking, because of the chemicals found in cigarettes, damages lung tissues and can cause cancer. Additionally, they can cause respiratory illnesses such as the flu, pneumonia and bronchitis. On the other hand, caffeine leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and caffeine withdrawal leads to headaches, fatigue, low energy, irritability, tremors, anxiety and poor concentration. You might wonder how essential it is to treat blood pressure? Well, in order to stay healthy, it is vital. So, in order to improve your immune system, kicking these two habits is very beneficial.
Smoking and caffeine are very bad for your health in the long run.
Keep a healthy weight
Being overweight has a negative effect on your immune system. On top of making physical activities harder, it makes you more susceptible to certain illnesses. As such, changing your diet and being more active helps keep you at an ideal weight and as such boosts your immune system. In addition to making your immune system strong, physical activity and a healthy diet help reduce inflammation.
Continuing from the previous tip, being active shouldn’t only be done to reduce your weight. Staying active after reaching your ideal weight is also part of the immune system boosting tips for seniors. This doesn’t have to be any sort of strenuous physical activity. For example, aiming for at least 30 minutes of walking, yoga, biking low impact workouts or swimming 3 days every week is a good goal. The most important part of this is to choose the right type of workout for you. But remember, it shouldn’t be too strenuous for you. If a workout routine is too much to handle, it can cause more harm than good.
Get the flu vaccine
As you get older, the flu gets more and more dangerous. Complications can arise from the flu which tend to be severe. As such, getting a shot against the flu is an excellent choice. By doing this you reduce the chances of flu-related illnesses massively, and you can avoid ever having to worry about this.
General tips for boosting your immune system are, of course, helpful. But, certain situations need certain preparations. As such, you should talk to your doctor and take precautions against illnesses you might be susceptible to. This goes for normal illnesses as well as medical emergencies. Precautions are incredibly important for dealing with them, if they happen. As such, take the time to prepare yourself, just in case.
Our immune system weakens with age. That is a fact no one can deny. But, there are always steps you can take to boost your immune system as you age. We hope you found this list of immune system boosting tips for seniors helpful.