6 Ways for Seniors to Boost Their Immune System
As we age, our immune system naturally becomes weaker, making us more prone to illness. Luckily, there are many ways that you can improve your immune system and preserve your health.
1. Eat a well-balanced diet
Our nutritional needs and dietary habits change for a variety of reasons as we get older. But, poor nutrition can affect heart health and can weaken muscles and bones. A healthy diet includes a variety of proteins, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. You also should reduce your consumption of sugar, fat, and processed foods.
2. Stay active
Staying physically active can strengthen your immune system, as well as increase blood circulation in your body.
3. Spend time outside
Vitamin D has been shown to help your immune system. Spending time outside allows your body to create vitamin D from direct sunlight. Many factors affect how long you need to spend outside, such as your skin color or the amount of skin you have exposed. Always be sure to wear sunscreen when outside, even if it's not sunny.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or underweight can have a negative impact on your immune system. Excess fat cells can release cytokines, causing chronic inflammation and stressing your immune system. On the other hand, people who are underweight may not be getting enough nutrients to fight off infections.
5. Connect with others
Senior isolation can cause feelings of loneliness and depression. Socially isolated older adults have been found to be at a higher risk of sickness and disability. It's important to find ways to stay connected, whether it's a phone call, texting, FaceTime, or in-person visit.
6. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can lead to a variety of health issues. Water helps your body to absorb nutrients as well as flush out waste.