As we age, our immune system weakens, which is why older people are more susceptible to getting sick and often take longer to recover from illness than they did before. So, the older we get, the more important it is to give your immune system the support it needs. Here are three ways you can do that.
The food you eat is the fuel your body needs to function. Consuming a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, to get all the nutrients you need while minimizing the amount of processed foods you eat will help you stay healthy.
Smoking and drinking alcohol both negatively affect your immune system, so you should avoid or minimize consumption of both if you’re looking to boost your immunity.
Remember adult vaccines
Throughout one’s life, vaccination including adult vaccinations provides effective protection against disease. While many of us are familiar with childhood vaccinations, they don’t provide lifelong immunity against every disease. As well, some vaccines are prescribed only for adults.
Adults require helper, or booster shots to maintain immunity for some conditions. And, if you didn’t get all your shots as a child, you could still be at risk of infection from vaccine-preventable diseases.
For example, if you are among the 90 per cent of Canadian adults over 50 years old who’ve had chickenpox – you should consider a vaccine to help prevent shingles. It’s a painful disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Regular exercise improves your cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and helps protect against a variety of viruses and diseases.
A balanced diet and regular exercise will also help you maintain a healthy body weight, which in turn helps boost your immune system.
While exercise is important, allowing your body to rest is equally valuable. Sleep is the tool your body uses to recharge its batteries, including your immune system.