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At Regency Tuscaloosa, we appreciate the importance of active senior living and making healthy choices everyday. It’s more important than ever to boost our immune systems, and live in a way that promotes good health. But what can we do to keep our bodies as healthy as possible and stave off potential illness? Here’s a list of simple steps you can take to maintain your personal health.

1- Healthy Food

Maintaining a healthy diet is a cornerstone health practice. We all know how important it is to feed our bodies nutritious foods so that we can stay healthy and strong. Healthy diet is also key when it comes to fostering a healthy immune system. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. Did you know there are specific foods that help boost your immune system? Check out a list of 15 foods that are immunity boosters in this piece by Healthline.

2- Drink Lots of Water

We’ve all heard that drinking plenty of water is essential for overall good health, but did you know that staying hydrated has incredible benefits for your immune system specifically? Water helps ensure your blood can carry oxygen aplenty to the cells that make up your body, and for those cells to function at their best, they need to be oxygenated. Drinking plenty of water also allows your kidneys to flush toxins out of your system. Conversely, when you do not get enough water, those toxins can build up in the body, weakening your immune system while they’re at it.

3- Regular Exercise

Active senior living is key here. The simple act of moving your body can serve as a powerful tool in fighting off infection and disease. Exercising actually increases blood and lymph flow, while also increasing the circulation of immune cells. Exercising regularly also decreases inflammation in the body, which can also have a positive effect on the immune system.

4- No Smoking

Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and disease. When you smoke, your immune system becomes compromised and weakened, rendering it less capable of fighting off everything from colds and viruses to conditions as grave as cancer. The fact of the matter is, compounds found within tobacco and cigarettes act as pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents, and one of the results is a weaker immune system.

Getting good rest and practicing healthy sleep habits are also important facets of active senior living and maintaining a healthy immune system.

5– Get Good Rest

Did you know that skimping on sleep can adversely affect your immune system? According to the Sleep Foundation, getting 8 hours of sleep per night can work wonders, keeping your immune system up to the challenge of fighting off illness. When you don’t get sufficient rest regularly, your body produces fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets inflammation and infection.

6- Eliminate Stressors

Actively working to minimize stress levels can also contribute to a healthier immune system. During times of stress, the immune system’s ability to fight antigens is reduced. The stress hormone, corticosteroid, can also suppress the immune system’s efficacy, lowering the number of lymphocytes.

Stress can also inadvertently affect your immunity, because in times of stress, we are less likely to eat right, get good sleep, exercise regularly, and more. And as you know, all these factors can contribute to a compromised immune system.

7- Hand Hygiene

Of course, practicing proper hygiene is another important way to maintain health. Especially in a world where we have to worry about viruses and their spread, it’s imperative to practice good hand washing always. Being conscientious about clean hands, clean homes, and really just cleanliness overall can help protect against illness.

As you make your own choices and practice active senior living for your own best health, we hope you will be inspired to cultivate a healthy immune system that’s primed for fighting off whatever potential illnesses you may encounter. For more tips on how to boost your immune system, check out this info from Harvard Medical School.