This winter, even more so than years past, boosting your immune system to protect your health will be important – especially for older adults.
As we head into the winter months, the combination of seasonal flu and the COVID-19 virus pose increased health risks for many older adults.
What makes them particularly vulnerable? An aging immune system that cannot fight off infection as effectively as it once did. As such, older adults are more susceptible to flu, respiratory infections, pneumonia and now, the COVID-19 virus.
The good news is that there are ways to boost your immune system to help you minimize those risks. The even better news? Many of you are already doing it simply by following general good health guidelines.
According to an article posted by Harvard Health Publishing (HHP), the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, following these guidelines is “the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy.”
Taking Those Steps
Just as a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or manage chronic diseases, it follows that a healthy lifestyle can help your immune system function more effectively. To boost your immunity, take the following steps:
- Get a flu shot
- Follow a Mediterranean diet
- Quit smoking
- Drink in moderation
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Minimize stress
- Get enough sleep
The Exercise Trifecta
Regular exercise packs a powerful punch when it comes to boosting the immune system. Here’s why. It provides benefits on multiple fronts. It helps you manage your weight, reduce your stress and improve your sleep – a trifecta of sorts. Three really good reasons to get moving and break a sweat.
So what do we mean by regular exercise? As a guideline, health experts recommend getting 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic activity. Resistance (strength) training is also recommended, with a goal of moderate- to high-intensity activity at least 2 days per week.
The combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training offers substantial benefits – not just for strengthening your immune system, but improving your overall fitness level. That’s why NuStep cross trainers are a great solution for home exercisers. They deliver an effective, low-impact cardio and strength workout that can contribute to a stronger immune system and a stronger you. Not just during winter, but year round.
Always consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program.