Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System in the Winter

Senior couple having fun in kitchen with healthy food - Retired people cooking meal at home with man and woman preparing lunch with bio vegetables - Happy elderly concept with mature funny pensioner

Winters can be tough on the immune system. With the influenza virus making its return and cold, snowy days forcing people to spend more time indoors, its a good idea to make wellness a focus. A healthy immune system is vital for everything from disease prevention to guarding against infections.

If you need a few suggestions for giving your immunity a natural boost, these tips might be of interest.

Tips to Help Seniors and Caregivers Boost Immunity
  • Commit to a healthy diet: When the winter winds blow, it can be tempting to reach for comfort foods and sugary treats. By filling up on empty calories, however, you put your immune system at risk. Since you are likely spending more time indoors, you could make productive use of that time by exploring a new dietary lifestyle, such as the Mediterranean Diet. Rich in lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruit, and plenty of hydration, it’s linked to a wide range of health benefits—lower incidences of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, to name just a few. While it might be intimidating to get started with, it’s actually easy to follow once you understand it.
  • Stay active: When the weather forces you to stay indoors, it’s easy to become isolated and sedentary. It’s a combination that decreases your body’s natural immunity, increasing the risk for health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure. Fortunately, it’s simple these days to stream fitness classes like Zumba, tai chi, and Pilates in the privacy of your own home. Walking on a treadmill or cycling on a recumbent bike for 30 minutes will also help you build a stronger immune system. Chair yoga is another idea for seniors who might have mobility challenges.
  • Nurture the spirit: This might be a surprising item to find on an immune booster list. But it’s an important one to include because it can help you manage stress. Chronic stress is known to increase the risk for a variety of medical issues, including cardiac disease and some forms of cancer. Whether it is being involved with a religious organization, meditating, journaling, or practicing yoga, finding ways to nurture the spirit helps keep you emotionally strong.
  • Sleep well: Insomnia and other sleep problems increase with age. It can be the result of a lack of exercise, a medication, sleep apnea, and more. If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest, talk to your physician about it. They might have some suggestions for you to try, including referring you for a sleep study to help identify the root cause and potential treatment options.
  • Consider supplements: One last suggestion is to talk to your primary care physician about whether you should take supplements. Vitamin D, for example, can drop during winter months. When the skin is exposed to sun, it manufactures vitamin D. So when sun exposure is limited, you may need a supplement to help. While supplements can’t compensate for an unhealthy diet, there are some your doctor might recommend based on your individual wellness needs.
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Winter is also a good time to invest in a mobile monitoring device. If you experience a health crisis or other emergency, you can summon help with the press of a button. Call 1-844-203-5617 to learn more today!