Immunity plays an essential role in our health, especially as we age and want to continue to enjoy an active retirement! It’s crucial to continuously work to strengthen our body’s natural defenses to fight potentially harmful bacteria and pathogens. How do you strengthen your immune system naturally, you may ask? The simple answer is that there are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to boost your immune system!
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is regenerative for your body, and when you are lacking sleep, your natural inflammation cells can increase. The more quality sleep you get, the stronger your immune system will be. Individuals aged 65 and older should be aiming to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
For more tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, read our blog here.
Eat Whole Foods & Healthy Fats
Eating a healthy diet, chock full of nutrients from fresh foods and good fats, is a simple way to keep your immune system running smoothly. Try to incorporate a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbs such as quinoa or brown rice. On the other hand, also try to leave out processed sugar, packaged foods and calorie-deficient beverages like soda.
For more tips on healthy eating for seniors, read our blog here.
Regular moderate exercise is typically second nature for active, independent seniors! Working this into your daily schedule, even if it’s taking 30 minutes for a brisk walk or light hike, can make all the difference in giving your immunity a boost. Studies indicate that exercise can reduce inflammation in the body, promote blood circulation, maintain a healthy weight and keep conditions such as high blood pressure at bay.
Another benefit of moderate exercise? It increases endorphins, making you feel great and reducing stress, which brings us to our next recommendation!
For more tips on easy at-home workouts you can do, read our blog here.
Try to Avoid Stress
Stress happens – we’re only human, after all! The thing about constant stress is that it can take a severe toll on your mental and physical health over time.
Stress heightens cortisol levels in the body, and when cortisol levels are consistently high, it can essentially block the immune system from responding and protecting your body from viruses and bacteria. Making a conscious effort to try and avoid feeling stress as much as possible can help you maintain a strong immune system. Participating in activities that “refill your tank,” such as exercise, socializing with friends and family, or learning a new skill can lower stress response and help you maintain overall health!
For more tips on practicing mindful thinking to help reduce stress, read our blog here.
Hydration is key to maintaining your overall health! While staying hydrated doesn’t necessarily actively protect you from illness, it plays a huge role in your overall health and susceptibility to harmful germs. Drink 8 or more 8-ounce glasses of water or tea each day to combat dehydration and keep your body functioning properly!
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco are both associated with many negative health effects due to toxin levels, including an impact on immune strength. Unfortunately, both can also be hard habits to break!
Try to cut down on alcohol consumption as much as possible – health studies have shown that one drink for women and two drinks for men per day should be the general limit. Cigarette smoking is even worse. If you’re a smoker, now is the time to take steps to knock this habit for good!
Cumberland Crossing by OceanView
At Cumberland Crossing by OceanView, we know that the key to enjoying an active retirement lifestyle is maintaining overall health and well-being. If you would like to learn more about our independent retirement community and the many opportunities we offer to stay active, engaged and healthy, please contact us today to schedule a tour!