Your immune system does a remarkable job of protecting your body from disease-causing microorganisms. Sometimes, though, a germ still finds its way into your body, and before you know it, you’re sick with a fever or a horrible cough. Woodland Ridge knows that staying healthy is essential for older adults, so we have compiled this list of ways to give your body the immune system boost it needs.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation increases the hormone cortisol in your body. If cortisol levels are elevated for a prolonged period of time, it will result in a suppressed immune function. Aim for 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night and make it a priority.
Eat More Garlic
Believe it or not, eating garlic regularly can do wonders for your body! You may not be doing your breath any favors, but including garlic in your meals can give your immune system a much-needed boost. It even aids in preventing heart disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Make Exercise a Priority
You don’t have to become a bodybuilder or marathon runner to boost your immune system. Go for a short walk, do some yoga or try out a new group fitness class. Getting your heart rate up will flush bacteria out of your lungs, protect against airborne illnesses, and help white blood cells to circulate more efficiently. Regular exercise has a vast number of benefits and can help improve your all-around health.
Soak Up Some Sun
Vitamin D is incredible for your immune system, and it is essential to maintain sufficient levels to protect against infections. The easiest and most natural way to get Vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight. Just 10 to 15 minutes outside each day will give your immunity the boost it needs. Be careful and make sure you don’t spend too much time outside or you may get sunburnt! If you’re planning on spending an extended amount of time outside, don’t forget to apply sunscreen!
Try a Yogurt Parfait
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are very beneficial for your gut health. They strengthen your immune system and fight off infections. A study by the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that New Zealand athletes had about 40% fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they regularly consumed probiotics. As an added bonus, a yogurt parfait is a healthy and delicious meal for breakfast!
Laughter Really is the Best Medicine
Laughter and an overall positive attitude, in general, lower stress levels, allowing your immune system to function properly. Overwhelming stress is the number one cause of a suppressed immune system. Engaging in healthy conversations and sharing a good laugh is the easiest and most fun way to get that essential immune system boost.
Treat Yourself to Tea Time
A cup of tea in the morning or before bed is always relaxing. Naturally occurring chemicals in tea, called alkylamines, give your immunity the boost it needs to fight off infection. In addition to protecting against disease, tea has a myriad of other advantages. Peppermint tea can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), green tea helps fight influenza and lowers cholesterol and chamomile aids in relaxation.
As you age, your body’s defense system tends to weaken. Woodland Ridge wants to help seniors stay as healthy as possible, especially during cold and flu season. Our assisted living and memory care community is unlike a typical nursing home; we want to inspire and nurture each senior we serve. Check out our care options and be sure to check out our blog for more tips on staying healthy and active.