Did you know that 60% of Americans have a chronic disease? As you age, you can help your body fare better by leading a healthier lifestyle. And if you’re wondering what steps to take to make that happen, you’ve come to the right place.
Stay with us to learn about the best immune system boosting tips for seniors.
Choose a Nutrient-Rich Mealplan
Boosting immune system health can help your body fight antigens and avoid chronic illnesses. One big way to provide that boost is through a diet that’s balanced and rich in nutrients. Commit to cooking unprocessed foods and limiting saturated fat to get the nutrients you need.
Aim to load up on foods that contain vitamin C, zinc, and B vitamins. Citrus fruits, like oranges, are a good source of Vitamin C. Lentils and beans are a good source of zinc. You can find zinc in beef and cheese, too, but you’ll want to avoid eating too much since these foods are higher in saturated fat.
For the B vitamins, eggs and yogurt are solid sources. Try yogurt and granola in the morning or eggs and wheat toast. Since you may develop vitamin deficiencies as you age, ask your doctor if you need a supplement to help boost your intake of B vitamins.
The brighter the food, the more life-giving antioxidants it will have, too. Blueberries, salmon, tomatoes, and pomegranates are great antioxidant-rich choices for your shopping list. And turn to fiber-rich foods, like beans and whole grains, to keep your intestines clear of bacteria.
Start Moving More
When you’re active, you’ll burn calories and keep your weight in check. You also support your mental health and improve cognitive function. But did you know that exercise also can help your immune system?
With exercise, you’ll help keep the immune cells in your body moving, which can help stave off infections. Further, exercise can help fight off inflammation and support your overall immune system health.
Start your day with a brisk walk in your neighborhood. Better yet, find a walking partner so you can stay accountable to each other. You’ll also benefit from the opportunity to connect socially.
Go on weekend bike rides or consider joining a local gym to do strength training. You’ll feel more energized with a daily dose of exercise, and your immune system will benefit, too!
Find Stress-Reducing Activities
Wondering how to boost your immune system? You’ll be happy to know that doing the things you love is a great way to facilitate antibody activities in your body. You’ll help fight off stress and you may even live longer!
Stress, on the other hand, can suppress your immune system. If you’re ruminating about something, your body will produce cortisol. And while cortisol helps you deal with the stress, it hurts your body’s ability to fight off infections.
When you’re stressed, there’s a better chance you might catch a cold or virus from someone around you. Fortunately, you can fend off that problem by engaging in activities that make you happy.
Join a birding club, volunteer, or start doing water aerobics in a group class at the local community center. Schedule time for lunch dates with old friends and grandchildren. Start a garden to help nourish your diet and add beauty to your landscape.
And as you age, find a community that can help you do what you love, regardless of mobility or other health issues. Focus on staying engaged with those you love and nourish your creativity.
Stay Current on Vaccines
When it comes to senior health tips, a big one is to be up to date on all vaccines. After all, there’s nothing worse than being sidelined by a case of the flu. Even worse, severe complications could send you to the hospital.
Make sure to get your flu vaccine every fall to reduce your chances of getting an infection. After the age of 65, you’ll be eligible for a higher dose or supplement-boosted vaccine that can help your immune system.
Consider a pneumonia vaccine, as well. When in doubt, talk with your doctor about which vaccines you should be taking to help your immune system.
Get Plenty of Water
You can boost immune system health by staying hydrated. If you’ve ever felt sluggish or had a headache, dehydration might be the problem. Not only will drinking water help prevent these issues, but it also will support your overall health.
If you’re generally in good health, aim to drink around 4 to 6 cups of water each day. If you’re sweating a lot due to exercise or excessive heat, however, you might want to increase this intake. Water plays a critical role in immune system health, and you don’t want to be deficient.
Water aids your immune system by flushing toxins from your body and keeping oxygen moving. Plus water helps distribute nutrients throughout your body. Without enough water, you may notice irregular blood pressure, constipation, and fluctuating body temperature.
You can get water through foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and celery. But you’ll still need more than that. Make a plan to carry a water bottle with you to encourage regular water consumption.
Follow These Immune System Boosting Tips
When you engage in immune system boosting activities, you can help fight off chronic health problems — and you’ll feel better. Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Plan on moving more, engaging in fun activities, and staying current on vaccines, as well.
A supportive environment can help you stay healthy and happy as you age. When you’re ready to find a senior living lifestyle that meets your needs, contact us and we can help!