At Regency Retirement Village of Jackson, we know the importance of active senior living and making healthy choices everyday. It’s more important now than ever before to boost our immune systems, and live in such a way that promotes good health. But what can we do to maintain healthy bodies and ward off potential illness? We have developed a list of simple steps you can take to better maintain your personal health.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t some new idea. We all know how important it is to feed our bodies nutritious foods so that we can stay healthy and strong. Healthy diet is key when it comes to fostering a healthy immune system. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. Did you know there are specific foods that help boost your immune system? Check out a list of 15 foods that are immunity boosters in this piece by Healthline.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
We all know drinking plenty of water is essential for overall good health, but did you also know that staying hydrated has incredible benefits specific to the immune system? Supplying your body with water helps ensure your blood can carry enough oxygen to your cells, and for those cells to function at their best, they need to be well oxygenated. Drinking plenty of water also allows your kidneys to flush toxins out of your system. Conversely, when you do not get enough water, toxins can build up in the body and your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and disease. When you smoke, your immune system becomes compromised and weakened, rendering it less capable of fighting off everything from colds and viruses to conditions as grave as cancer. The fact of the matter is, compounds found within tobacco and cigarettes act as pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents, and one of the results is a weaker immune system.
Active senior living is key! The simple act of moving your body can serve as a powerful tool in fighting off infection and disease. Exercising actually increases blood and lymph flow, while also increasing the circulation of immune cells. Exercising regularly also decreases inflammation in the body, which can also have a positive effect on the immune system.
Did you know that skimping on sleep can adversely affect your immune system? According to the Sleep Foundation, getting 8 hours of sleep per night can work wonders, keeping your immune system up to the challenge of fighting off illness. When you don’t get sufficient rest regularly, your body produces fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets inflammation and infection.
WORK TO REDUCE STRESS
Actively working to minimize stress can also greatly contribute to immune system health. Times of stress reduce the immune system’s ability to fight antigens. The stress hormone, corticosteroid, can also suppress the immune system’s efficacy, lowering the number of lymphocytes.
Stress can also inadvertently affect your immunity, because in times of stress, we are less likely to eat right, get good sleep, exercise regularly, and more. And of course, these are all factors that can contribute to a compromised immune system.
PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE
Of course, practicing good hygiene is another important way we can maintain good health. Especially in a world where we have to worry about viruses and their spread, it’s imperative to practice good hand washing all the time. Being conscientious about clean hands, clean homes, and really just cleanliness overall can help protect against us against potential illness.
As you make your personal health choices and practice active senior living, we hope you’ll be inspired to cultivate a healthy immune system that’s primed for fighting off anything harmful. For further tips on how to boost your immune system, check out this info from Harvard Medical School.