The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against infectious organisms and other such dangerous invaders. Based on the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms that invade body systems and cause diseases. According to the National Institute on Aging, as people age their immune system gets less effective to fight off infections and diseases.
In fact, the leading cause of death for people over age 65 is respiratory infections like influenza and pneumonia. So, for older adults, having a strong immune system is very important especially during cold and flu season. Because elderly persons are more vulnerable to infections and illness, they need to take extra precautions to stay healthy.
Fortunately, there are some of the best tips to boost immune system in older adults that allow fast recovery from respiratory infections and prevent serious health issues.
7 Immune system boosters for senior adults
As per research studies, these immune boosters help seniors to stay fit and healthy through cold and flu season.
1. Exercise Regularly
Regular and moderate physical activity improves circulation and overall fitness, which helps boost the production of immune system cells. Researchers found that bicycle rides, walk, yoga and other forms of exercise for older people, help their immune system to fight off infections and live longer.
2. Eat a Healthy and Nutritional Diet
Older people tend to eat less and have less healthy foods in their diet. However, one of the best ways to stay healthy is by consumingimmune system booster foods that boost your immune system. Eating antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is essential in maintaining immunity and help ward off infections.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress has been linked to a number of illnesses, including stomach problems and heart diseases. When stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off infections or antigens also reduces. That is why we, especially people of older age are more susceptible to viruses or infections. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation and yoga for a better immune system.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
One of the best natural immune boosters, sleep helps us to respond better to infections and illnesses. During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which help promote good sleep. For healthy immunity, these cytokines need to increase when you have infections or under stress. The optimal amount of sleep for seniors is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night to get rid of a weak immune system.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is important to keep you hydrated, especially during cold and flu season. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxic substances and other bacteria that cause illness. People (particularly older adults) need eight to nine glasses of water a day to keep mucous membranes moist, which lowers their chances of respiratory infections and boosts immunity.
6. Wash Hands
Washing hands regularly can remove bacteria and keep them away from infections. Studies suggest that people who wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds would experience fewer incidences of common cold and flu. Covering coughs and sneezes helps prevent getting sick from germs and also the diseases from spreading.
7. Quit Smoking
Do you know that smoking not only causes cancers but it also lessens the body’s immune response? Yes. Cigarette smoke contains high levels of tar and other chemicals, which makes the immune system less effective at fighting off infections. This also means people who smoke more susceptible to illness and get sick.
Staying fit and healthy become more significant as we age, because the older we get, the more susceptible we become to infections and inflammatory diseases. For more tips on healthy living, keep following SMILES.