Friday, January 9, 2015

Natural Ways to Boost your Immune System for Better Health

A weakened immune system can put seniors at higher risk for developing illness. Their body is not able to fight off germs and viruses as well as it once did. In addition, certain health conditions and medications can make them more susceptible as well. However, there are several ways in which you can naturally boost your immune system and support improved health.

  • Reduce Stress: Stress can put your body on overload and suppress immune function. Your body stays in a heightened sense of awareness. Taking steps to alleviate stress through yoga, exercise, meditation, music, journaling, socializing, and more can be beneficial. Find healthy coping strategies that help you to feel more relaxed and peaceful.
  • Eat a Well-Balanced Diet: Make sure that your diet contains plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This will provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs to fight off illness and function more effectively. It can also help you to recover more quickly if you do get sick.
  • Enjoy the Sunshine: The sun is a natural source of vitamin D which can help ward off infection. While it’s often more enjoyable to bask in the sun during the summer, make sure you are also getting some outside time during the winter as well. You can also take a vitamin D supplement if your body is not getting enough naturally.
  • Spend time with Others: Although this seems counterproductive, being around others can actually boost your health. It is good for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing and can help your body to build more immunity to certain germs or viruses. Just make sure that you are washing your hands and taking other necessary precautions such as avoiding those whom you know are ill.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: Lack of sleep can take a toll on your immune system. Much like being overly stressed, it taxes your body and does not allow it to rest and recover. You need sleep to allow your body to heal and fight off germs.
  • Get Vaccinated: Vaccines help your body to build antibodies to certain strains of the flu as well as a host of other diseases. It is especially important for seniors to get a yearly flu and pneumonia vaccination to decrease their risk of getting sick.

While there is no surefire way to guarantee you won’t fall ill, being proactive providing your body with the support it needs to maintain a strong immune system is beneficial. Even if you do get sick, your body can often recover more quickly and symptoms may be less severe. Upholding a healthy lifestyle, staying active, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep are all simple ways to improve your overall wellbeing as well as immune health.

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