Studies have shown that as we age our immune systems tend to weaken. You can thank continued stress on your body, exposure to chemicals and radiation in the environment and the presence of age-related illnesses for your compromised immunity, but you don’t have to sit back and let all those germs and viruses attack you. Here’s a list of some great ways to boost your immunity after 50.
1.- Choose the right foods. Establishing and maintaining a well-balanced diet is key to your health. Food fuels all the systems in our bodies, so if you focus on giving your body the proper fuel it will be able to do its best work for you. A variety of fruits and vegetables–particularly dark, leafy greens and anything in the red, yellow or orange family–are loaded with immune boosting vitamin C and antioxidants. And lean proteins and whole grains will give your body the energy it needs to fight off illness. Minimize processed foods, as they do little to nourish your body and can make you feel sluggish.
2.- Get moving. We all know that exercise is crucial for keeping your weight in check and your heart healthy, but it has the added bonus of releasing feel-good hormones and improve blood circulation, both of which can have positive effects on your immune system. A daily walk, short aerobics sessions or relaxing Yoga class will all do the trick.
3.- Stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated is always important, but especially so when you’re sick or more likely to get sick, like in winter or when traveling. Fluids keep mucous membranes moist, which decreases your chance of getting ill. So make sure you include plenty of water, herbal tea, juicy fruits and brothy soups in your day.
Also read: 5 Home remedies for the common cold
4.- Consider supplements. Vitamins and herbal supplements can benefit anyone, but If you have dietary restrictions or a decreased appetite for whatever reason, they could be particularly beneficial. Your physician is the first place to check for recommendations, but vitamin C, echinacea, ginseng, zinc and probiotics are all known to help prevent and fight illness.
5.- Sleep well. Healing happens when you rest, so if there’s something brewing in your body, adequate rest could lay it to bed before it has the chance to affect you. It can also shorten the duration of an illness once it starts. And don’t forget, not getting enough sleep actually weakens your body leaving it less equipped to fight off illness. Shoot for seven to eight hours per night.
6.- Be positive. Do things that make you feel good. Read, pray, catch up with friends, do jigsaw puzzles—whatever it is that brings you joy, makes sure you fit it in. Just like exercise, doing other things that you find pleasurable also releases those happy endorphins which will in turn strengthen your immune system.