Ways seniors can help boost their immune system year round

Staying healthy during the holidays

December 23, 2020

With the holiday season upon us, it's important to remember to stay safe while celebrating. In these uncertain times, with COVID-19 and the flu, we want to remind you to exercise common sense and take extra precautions when visiting with loved ones and while enjoying holiday festivities.

Some recommended actions you can take to help reduce the spread of illnesses include washing hands frequently, avoiding unnecessary contact with your face, wearing a clean mask when in close proximity of others, performing regular temperature checks, and avoiding crowds if any symptoms of sickness present themselves, whether COVID-19 or not.

There are plenty of natural ways to help your body's immune system fight off ailments and help improve immune function. Getting a good night's sleep, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing stress levels can be implemented into your year-round lifestyle to help maintain optimum health at any age.

A good night's sleep

Sleep is incredibly important to help reduce stress and improve immune function. Your body needs enough time to recover from your daily activities to help promote proper hormone balance, which can help reduce stress and increase positive feelings.

Lack of sleep leads to insufficient production of infection-fighting antibodies. Studies have shown that individuals who don't get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus and in some cases, they stay sick longer.

The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night.

Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick? by Eric J. Olson, M.D., Mayo Clinic

Healthy diet and nutrition

Many Americans suffer from micronutrient malnutrition (deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals) and it's particularly prevalent in seniors. Focusing meals around proteins, fruits and vegetables can help provide these nutrients and build up the body's immune system.

There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly.

How to boost your immune system, (2020) Harvard Health Publishing

Vitamins A, D, C as well as beta-glucan and zinc have been found to have positive effects on the immune system.

The Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19: Virus-Specific Nutraceutical and Botanical Agents and Additional Research on Nutraceuticals and Botanicals, The Institute for Functional Medicine
What are the benefits of beta glucan?, Goldman, Rena. (2016) "Beta Glucan: The Heart-Healthy Fiber." Healthline.

Just a little exercise

Exercise, in conjunction with normal body function, can help to promote good circulation and allows the cells of the immune system to operate more efficiently. Muscle fibers, that are torn during exercise, are rebuilt as your body recovers. This natural body recovery process triggers an immune response, heightening immune system function.

The immune system is very responsive to exercise, with the extent and duration reflecting the degree of physiological stress imposed...

The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system by David Nieman and Larel Wentz, Journal of Sport and Health Science

Only 30 to 60 minutes a day of light to moderate exercise can improve cardiovascular health and help reduce overall stress, which is key to staying well and fighting off infections effectively.

Live your healthiest life

Eating a healthy nutritious diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and reducing stress levels can help increase your immunity naturally so you can enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season! Everyone plays a part in staying safe and you shouldn't have to sacrifice living to remain healthy.

We pride ourselves on our actions to protect and preserve the health & safety of our residents and their families year-round. In addition to the safety precautions taken to stop the spread of COVID, we believe healthy life choices can help improve wellness and immunity.

At Sycamore Reserve, we provide the resources for seniors here to live their healthiest life including nutritious, gourmet meals, a beautiful fitness center, fitness classes and a nice relaxing family friendly atmosphere.

If you're looking for a new home for the holidays, take advantage of our limited-time holiday savings and schedule your visit to Sycamore Reserve Independent Senior Living.

Learn More

To find out how Sycamore Reserve can help you live a truly independent lifestyle, please contact Shawn Gann, Assistant Director and Director of Sales & Marketing at (317) 516-5200.

Tags: Sycamore Reserve, senior living, independent senior living, Immune support, COVID-19, Healthy living for seniors, Nutrition for immune system, Senior health, Supplements to boost immunity

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This article does not constitute medical advice, it is for informational purposes only. As always, seniors should discuss their health, exercise regimen and stress levels with their doctor or healthcare provider.