Senior Immune System Boosters (Guest Post)

Now that temperatures are dropping and seasons are changing, colds and the flu are not uncommon. Elderly people are even more susceptible to these illnesses, since their immune systems may not be as strong as they once were. 

There are plenty of simple things seniors can do to help boost their immune systems and prevent catching a cold this season. 

Here are some tips:

Get Vaccinated

This is most likely the first thought that pops into your head when you are thinking about proactively protecting your immune system. It is suggested that seniors receive annual flu shots in order to reduce the risk of getting the flu and other diseases.  They are both effective and beneficial.

Watch Your Diet 

Being aware of what you are putting in your body is one of the most important things you can do to help boost your immune system. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are an essential part of keeping your immune system at its maximum strength. These foods are rich with nutrients and should be eaten daily in order to achieve the best chance at healthy cells.  

Stay Hydrated

Not only will the foods you eat make a difference in boosting your immune system, but drinking enough water is also necessary. Some seniors may not even realize they are dehydrated since they may not feel strong levels of thirst. Drinking water helps your organs stay in tip top shape and when your organs and body are in sync, you are more likely to become sick less often.

Set Up an Exercise Routine

Exercising is a given when it comes to keeping your health in check. Not only does it keep you in shape, but depending on what type of exercise you're doing, it can prevent you from certain diseases as well. 

No matter if you have 20 minutes or an hour a day, you should try to fit in some type of work out. There are plenty of low impact exercises that seniors can do, like walking or yoga, that will make a huge difference as opposed to staying sedentary.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

When we are asleep, that is the body's time to rest, restore and repair. It is recommended for seniors to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Following this recommendation gives the body time to heal and prepare for the next day. When your body is well rested, it can fight off colds and sicknesses more effectively.

Spice Up Your Life

Natural immune boosting objects can be found right on the spice rack. When you are cooking, try adding garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne to some of your meals. These spices offer an extra kick in helping to keep your cells healthy.

As we get older, we must really work towards staying healthy and doing the right things for our bodies. Simple tasks like adding a new spice to a favorite dish, getting an extra hour of sleep or talking a walk on a nice day are key components to keeping your immune system in the best condition.

Byline:  Ruth Folger Weiss is a blogger for Kearsley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a nursing home in Philadelphia, PA.