As we welcome the cooler months ahead, there’s a less welcomed visitor lurking in the shadows. The notorious cold and flu season always seems to make its grand entrance during the late fall and into the winter months. Though we cannot completely safeguard ourselves from the viruses that surround us, we can make sure that we are doing our best to live a healthy lifestyle.
The less health complications you have, the easier it is to fight off viruses or other illnesses. As we age, we are already susceptible to a weakened immune system. Therefore, it’s important that we are aware of the areas we can control and are proactive in taking the steps necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some suggested health tips to help boost your immune system and better equip your body to take on the approaching cold and flu season.
Get a Handle on your Bad Habits
Vices… we all have them! While it’s not recommended, such occurrences as an occasional evening cocktail or the sporadic afternoon cigar on the rocking chair, won’t wreak havoc on your health. However, an addictive habit of smoking two packs a day or a steady pour of cocktails will greatly impact your health in a negative way. Kick your bad habits to the curb and practice “everything in moderation” to help improve your health.
“You are What You Eat!”
Diet alone will not boost your immune system. However, balanced nutrition, when combined with other healthy lifestyle factors, effectively allows the body to fight off viruses, diseases, and infections. A diet consisting of whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proper hydration is ideal. Vitamins and other supplements can help fill in areas where you are lacking but should not be the primary source of nutrients.
The benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health are endless! Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day can help improve your heart health, strengthen your bones, increase your energy, and decrease stress levels, amongst many other perks. Exercise isn’t limited to the gym; you can do beneficial low impact exercise in the comfort of your own home or neighborhood. Playing golf, taking morning walks with a neighbor, throwing the football with your grandkids, or working in the garden are all ways to get active!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Generally speaking, through proper diet and exercise, we can maintain a healthy and consistent BMI (body mass index). Individuals who have a BMI in the overweight or obesity ranges are automatically at an increased risk for health conditions such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure, just to name a few.
Catch Your ZZZZs
The quality (and quantity) of our sleep has a direct impact on our physical health. There is scientific evidence that shows both short- and long-term sleep deprivation can actually cause illness. Additionally, sleep can provide the body with the rest and energy needed to help the immune system perform critical tasks. It is recommended that adults, 65 years and older, should try to average 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
The immune system is just that… a complex system that relies on balance and harmony for peak performance. There isn’t a single entity that is alone responsible for strengthening the immune system. However, several factors, working together, can equip our bodies and help them fight disease and infection. Taking the steps to ensure that we are living a healthy lifestyle is key to improving our overall health. For more healthy tips please visit our blog at: Our Blog | nolahomecare.com