Living with the pandemic for around two years has taught us more about maintaining our immune system than anything else has. Even so, your immune system as with other body systems changes as you age. Thus, it is more important to understand how to maintain your immune system once you have reached 60. Before we examine the tips, it is important to understand what our immune system is all about!
How Does Your Immune System Work?
The flu season is well underway. From late October to May, the flu season affects millions of Americans. Our immune system is affected when the body senses foreign substances called antigens. Our body aims to get rid of them by generating antibodies. This occurs when the B lymphocytes lock on to these invaders. Usually, these foreign invaders come in the form of bacteria, viruses, or toxins. As we age, the production of these B lymphocytes dramatically reduces. As a result, people over the age of 60 do not respond as aggressively to an attack on the immune system. However, there are ways to maintain your immune health as you age.
Make Sure That You Are Vaccinated
Vaccination is the best way to ensure that you are protected against specific invaders. Every year, the strain of flu changes, hence it is important to be updated with your shots and take the right one that is prescribed to you. It is advisable to take the shot as quickly as possible so that your body can make the right antibodies that keep you protected. You can easily get your vaccine from your primary healthcare provider.
Ensure That Your Stress Levels Are Low
Our bodies need some stress to survive but stress over a long period of time can lead to chronic stress. This leads to the production of the hormone cortisol. While it is helpful in fight-or-flight situations, they can shut down what is deemed as a “non-essential” body system. In this way, your immune response is lowered. Mindfulness-based exercises are great for alleviating one’s stress levels. This can be done through deep breathing exercises.
Spend Time In The Outdoors
Did you know that in addition to being good for the bones, Vitamin D is useful for your immune system too? The best way to get natural Vitamin D is through sunlight. However, this is not enough and can always be supplemented through a nutritious diet or pills. Spending time outdoors, however, has the added benefit of naturally converting Vitamin D. The exact amount of time will vary depending on your skin tone, the time of the year, and where you live.
Have A Good Night’s Sleep
The power of a good night’s sleep is often underestimated. As one ages, the quantity and quality of sleep usually reduce due to medication and night-time urination. This in turn affects your cognition and immune health. It is recommended that you get at least eight to nine hours of sleep per night and limit your caffeine intake and screentime at night.