The immune system is the body’s best defense against illnesses. As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to germs and illnesses.
Seniors have fewer immune cells and take longer to recover from injuries and infections.
By improving their immune systems, older adults can give themselves the best fighting chance against viral diseases.
For those 65 and older, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle go a long way to reducing their chances of contracting an illness.
Here are some ways that seniors can boost their immune systems:
1. Eat Healthy Foods
Creating a diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables will strengthen a senior’s immune system. Foods that are high in antioxidants like blueberries and avocados will help destroy harmful free radicals.
“Superfoods” like broccoli and kale are known to reduce inflammation and contain high amounts of vitamins C, E, and zinc.
Lean proteins like poultry are another healthy food that boosts the body’s immune system.
Finally, include foods like fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids – and remember to drink lots of water.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
To avoid bringing bacteria and germs into the body, seniors should frequently wash their hands and avoid touching their faces.
Illnesses can enter the body easily through the mouth, nose, and eyes; older adults that keep their hands clean will prevent the spread of bacteria. Seniors that practice good hygiene will benefit their immune systems.
3. Take Medications on Time
Pre-existing conditions like diabetes can make some adults more vulnerable – stay on top of these conditions by managing them with prescribed medications.
Regular doctor visits will help seniors stay current on the medications that they need to maintain good health.
With multiple prescriptions, it can be challenging to manage pills – look at these tips for organizing medication to help with this problem.
4. Stay Up-To-Date on Vaccinations
Every year, seniors can get the flu shot to avoid contracting any illnesses. When available, older adults can visit their doctors to receive vaccines and boost their immunity to seasonal flu.
The shingles vaccine is especially important for this age group. Avoid seasonal flu and pneumonia by receiving vaccines every year.
5. Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Our bodies need sleep to recover and repair the wear and tear from everyday life. It also helps boost the immune system to fight against diseases.
Try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night – anything less can lower the body’s immunity. Creating a consistent bedtime routine will help signal the body when it’s time to go to bed.
6. Aim to Reduce Stress
Stress weakens our immune systems; for seniors, this can be detrimental. Doing activities that manage stress is a good way to strengthen the body’s natural defenses.
Practicing mindfulness and seeking social support are effective ways to reduce stress.
Older adults can develop coping mechanisms that help alleviate anxiety, like going for walks or calling a loved one.
7. Try Alternative Medicines
There are naturopathic therapies to boost your immune system. Older adults have difficulty absorbing all the vitamins and nutrients from food.
IV administration ensures that seniors will receive the full benefits of a healthy diet, and in turn, strengthen their immune system.
Alternative medicine gives seniors extra ways to protect themselves from sickness.
8. Stay Active
Exercise helps to keep the body strong. For seniors, some activities can be too high-impact on the body, like running and weightlifting.
Instead, try water aerobics or yoga – these will get the heart pumping without straining the joints and muscles too much.
Exercising outdoors allows seniors to absorb valuable Vitamin D from sunlight, which is known to strengthen the immune system.
Adding regular exercise to their lifestyles will help seniors fight against illnesses.
9. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
These substances weaken the body’s natural defense system. Abstain from cigarettes to restore health to an aging immune system – smoke damages the lungs and increases the risk of cancer.
Drinking in moderation will prevent excessive damage to the essential organs of the body.
Strengthening the body’s immune system involves a healthy diet and lifestyle. This natural defense mechanism is boosted by regular exercise, adequate sleep, vaccines and medication, and abstinence from harmful substances.
By keeping their bodies strong, seniors who do fall ill will experience faster recovery times.
A combination of these suggestions will help seniors fight against infections and illnesses by strengthening their immune systems and improving their overall well-being.
About The Author:
Christie Simon is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and health-related topics for a variety of businesses. Some of her favorite pieces can be found on the Alterna Cremation website.