5 Ways Seniors Can Improve Immune Function
Staying happy and healthy means more than being financially secure, having a place to rest your head and looking after your body; it also means looking after your state of mind, because all these factors work together to impact your immunity. The good news is, you needn’t necessarily rely on your doctor to make these enhancements happen – all it takes are a few simple lifestyle changes.
- Eat For a Healthier Tomorrow
The fact your mom said it when you were 5 years old doesn’t make the need to “eat your greens” any less true! Superfoods such as blueberries and avocados, as well as leafy greens like kale and broccoli, are fantastic for giving you a vitamin boost. Whether you juice them to make a refreshing drink, puree them for a tasty soup or simply eat them as part of your three daily meals is up to you. And, readymade juices and smoothies are available these days in cafes and grocery stores, which removes the hassle of making them yourself.
A diet that is well-balanced is also key. That means plenty of:
- Fruit and vegetables.
Also, consider starting to take daily probiotics or supplements. Catching a cold in your younger years may have been no big deal, but these sorts of illnesses can become life-threatening much quicker in later life. With that in mind, get as much goodness from your diet as possible to ward off unwanted germs.
- Have Regular Check-Ups
If you’re one of those people who put off going to see the doctor because you don’t want to hear bad news, as a senior, you really should change your ways. Doctor’s visits needn’t be about what is wrong, they can also be about what is right with your body. Your annual flu shot, for instance, is a great way of keeping illness at bay with minimal effort. Your doctor can also check things like your blood pressure and your vitamin D levels at your annual exam. That way, you can adjust your daily life to keep you in command of your health.
- Sweet Dreams
It’s not unusual for people to find they need less sleep as they get older, but that doesn’t mean that getting a sufficient amount each night is any less important. If you’re an early bird, be sure to go to bed at a time that means you aren’t sleep deprived the next day. Try turning off the television and any tablets or laptops two hours before you go to bed to help you wind down. And, remember that drinking caffeine after lunch is a bad idea if you want a restful night.
Meditation can be a fantastic way of encouraging sleep and improving your memory, to boot. There are hundreds of apps and websites out there to help you if you’ve never done it before. The most important thing is to set aside some time to rest and rehabilitate away from distractions. And, bonus: joining a local meditation class will get you out the house and meeting new people!
- Keep on Moving
Being retired doesn’t mean sitting still! There is a plethora of options available for seniors now for staying physically fit such as seated Pilates, tailored gym programs and hiking groups. Just look in your local paper to see what is available where you live. However, if you prefer to keep fit on your own time, go and walk the dog – or maybe borrow the neighbor’s if you don’t have your own!
Whatever you choose to do, make sure 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity is factored in to your daily routine. This is essential for your immune health and will also improve your mental health by leaps and bounds. And if you’re bed-bound, speak to your doctor about simple exercises you can do from home to keep you active when you’re under the weather.
- Glass Half-Full
Speaking of mental health, when we feel positive, our bodies release endorphins. This feel-good hormone will keep your immune system from letting you down. When a friend invites you to coffee, go along, and invite another friend for coffee tomorrow! You can also join local community groups or attend church to ensure you’re meeting new people. Loneliness breeds unhappiness, which means staying socially active is vital in later life.
As well as looking on the bright side, try stepping outside your comfort zone occasionally to keep your mind agile. Always thought you hated bowling? Go along to a group and you might surprise yourself. Learning new skills and taking on new hobbies is like exercise for the brain. Why not take yours out for a spin today!