We all want to feel healthy and avoid illness; however, keeping our immune system strong gets more difficult with age. Furthermore, the likelihood of developing illnesses or health conditions increases as we grow older. Our bodies are less able to fight off these common infections that impact so many of us.
So, how can you strengthen and boost your immune system? McClellan Senior Living in Anniston, Alabama, is here to help by sharing a few tips.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet goes a long way in boosting the immune system. Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly is the best way to stay healthy and ward off sickness.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that promote good health, nourishing your body so that it can fight viruses.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
As we grow older, our sense of thirst can decrease; however, our bodies still need at least eight glasses of water each day to keep our systems functioning properly. This means that, although you may not feel parched, you still need to consume water. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
When your body is fully hydrated, it is better able to flush out toxins that cause illnesses.
Participating in regular physical activity increases blood circulation, promotes heart health, and lowers inflammation in the body. In addition, exercise is an effective way to maintain a healthy body weight. Too much excess body weight increases inflammation in the body, which negatively influences your immune system.
McClellan Senior Living offers a variety of exercise classes and activities that will meet your needs and help you stay active. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor to come up with a fitness plan that is safe for you.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
Hygiene plays a vital role in preventing illness and disease.
Think about touching something as simple as a doorknob. How many other people have touched that same doorknob? Do you know what viruses they have been exposed to? No, and chances are, neither do they.
The simplest, most effective way to protect yourself is to wash your hands often. This reduces the risk of exposing yourself and others to infectious diseases.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest
Sleep and rest allow the body to rejuvenate and repair. A good night’s rest is especially important when fighting infection and inflammation. Your body needs at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night to allow regeneration. Help your body and its functions by sticking to a routine that promotes a good night’s sleep.
If you struggle with insomnia, stick to the same regimen every night. Start to wind down the same way and at the same time each evening. Your mind will slowly adjust and learn to expect to go to sleep if you practice the same routine daily.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Chronic stress and anxiety wreak havoc on the body and are shown to weaken the immune system and lead to illnesses. Cortisol, a hormone the body produces in times of stress, restricts certain bodily functions that inhibit your immune system.
Managing your stress level is a vital aspect of boosting your immune system. Find ways to relax and reduce stress and anxiety.
Among all the other known hazards of smoking, lowering your immune system is one to add to the list. Although it is difficult to do, quitting smoking can help boost your immune system.
Smoking causes inflammation in the lungs, attracting antibodies to fight the inflammation. These antibodies could be used to fight infections that enter your body but instead are fighting the inflammation caused by smoking. This can put you at a higher risk of becoming affected by illnesses.
The immune system is an important part of senior health, and strengthening it is the first step in preventing the spread of viruses and illnesses. McClellan Senior Living in Anniston, Alabama, understands this and does everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our residents. If you are looking for more articles regarding senior health, we encourage you to visit our McClellan Senior Living blog.