Boosting Immune Health in Seniors: 7 Tips and Natural Remedies
As you get older, your immune health becomes more important than ever. As people age, their ability to fight infection decreases, making them more susceptible to the health problems infection causes. The good news is that you can take steps to boost your immune health and reduce the risk of getting an infection!
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is crucial to keeping your immune system healthy. Regular exercise improves your circulation, helping your immune system to detect and respond to infection quickly. Exercise also improves your overall health, decreasing the risk of an infection and improving your body’s ability to handle it if it does.
Types of exercise that may be ideal for older adults include:
At the end of the day, the type of activity isn’t as important to your immune health as simply engaging in regular activity that keeps you moving.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Your immune system health is highly connected with your diet. The key to a diet that helps your immune health is balance. Choose mostly healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. It’s okay to indulge in foods with processed sugars or fried foods occasionally, but you should eat them in moderation and try to rely on healthy foods as much as possible.
Get Good Sleep
Good sleep is vital for immune health. Getting a full night’s sleep has been shown to promote immune system function, while not sleeping well is connected with inflammation and suppressed immune system function.
Getting a full night of sleep can be more challenging as we age. Some ways to sleep better include:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Avoid screens in the hour before going to bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible.
- Avoid stimulation the hour before going to sleep.
- Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine in the evening.
- Only use your bedroom for sleeping or intercourse.
- Get medical support if problems persist.
Manage Your Stress
Emotional stress suppresses your immune system and makes you more prone to infection. Managing your stress is important to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.
There are two important ways to manage stress. Control the things you can and learn to cope with the things you can’t. Controlling the things you can means avoiding stresses that you can avoid. This could include relationships or situations that create stress and that you can avoid. Coping with the things you can’t avoid involves learning how to cope with unavoidable stress better. This could include using meditation, yoga, counseling, or even medication to better address stressful things you can’t directly avoid.
Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
Of all the nutrients known to help your immune system, vitamin D is perhaps the most important. You can get vitamin D by getting sunlight as much as possible and using supplements during winter or when you are stuck inside for long periods of time.
Avoid Bad Habits
Bad habits can have a very negative effect on your immune system health. The main habits that are known to impact your immune system include:
- Drinking heavily
- Overeating (if it causes you to be overweight)
By giving up your bad habits, you can promote your overall immune health. Giving up a bad habit can be challenging. If you’re struggling to control a habit, consider seeking professional support. Overcoming a bad habit can offer many health benefits beyond just supporting your immune health.
Pay Attention to Your Health
Part of supporting your immune system is making sure that your overall health is in good condition. This includes following medical advice for any health conditions you have and getting medical help sooner rather than later when potential issues occur. It also includes staying up with your regular visits and screening to make sure problems can be caught early.
Maintaining your immune system is important. To find out how we can support you during your aging journey, contact us to take a tour of a senior center near you!