What Can You Do to Boost Your Immune System?
Our immune system and its defense mechanisms naturally decline as we age, making us more susceptible to infectious diseases. Adults over 65 are more prone to contract respiratory infections, influenza, pneumonia and the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there is no magic bullet, your first line of defense is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is far more than what you eat and is the single best way to keep your immune system strong. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Don't smoke
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay hydrated
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
- Limit exposure to chemicals and carcinogens
- Get adequate sleep
- Wash your hands frequently
- Disinfect high-contact surfaces at home and in your vehicle
- Try to minimize stress
- Stay in contact with others
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure
Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity, but know that many of these supplements can do more harm than good. No evidence suggests that vitamin C supplements can help prevent against respiratory infections or Coronavirus. Some products simply help reduce the duration of a cold or symptoms themselves.
Flu and pneumonia vaccines are more important than ever as we fight COVID-19. Doctors suggest getting vaccines in September and October to ensure the immunity they help to provide last through the winter months. The world is anxiously awaiting a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, until it is available and administered widely, we all must remain on high alert.
By incorporating an active lifestyle with healthy-living strategies and vaccinations, you can strengthen your immune system health to better prevent and fight disease.
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