How Does Aging Affect My Immune System?
Aging can have a variety of effects on your immune system. Fortunately, seeing a physician who specializes in senior immunity care and other health issues can help you manage the effects of aging on your body.
What We Know About Aging and Your Immune System
Aging can significantly impact your body’s ability to fight off illnesses, which means that you are probably more vulnerable to colds, the flu, and other health problems than you used to be. If you are over age 65, you are more likely to both contract infectious diseases and experience more severe complications than younger adults. Seniors typically get influenza and pneumonia, as well as COVID-19, more easily and have a more difficult time recovering from them than younger people.
Be Cautious When Selecting Products
Although there are many supplements and other health products marketed toward seniors, it is important to take their claims with a grain of salt. Not all of these products are supported by science, and even what we do know to be scientifically true is constantly changing, which can lead to confusion. Although some supplements may benefit you, nothing beats the simple personal effort of eating well and exercising regularly.
What Can I Do About These Effects?
Although aging can have a significant impact on your immune system, there are several steps you can take to increase the quality of your life by increasing your body’s ability to fight off illnesses.
Exercise to Boost Your Immune System
Exercising regularly is one of the most important things you can do to improve your immune system and increase your overall health. Physical activity has a wide variety of benefits for seniors, including reducing stress, decreasing your risk for heart disease, increasing your bone and muscle strength, and giving you more energy to complete day-to-day tasks more effectively. By helping to remove bacteria from your lungs and airways and improving your antibody and white blood cell levels, exercise can also lower your vulnerability to colds, the flu, and other illnesses.
Although exercise is important, seniors need to be careful not to overdo it. Your body is more vulnerable to injuries than it used to be, and running, contact sports, and similar types of exercise should be replaced with less strenuous choices. Walking or biking around the neighborhood, playing golf, pickleball, or tennis, and taking aquatic therapy or other senior exercise classes are lower-impact options that still benefit your body.
Consistency is Key to Improving Your Immune System
Consistently taking care of your body is just as important as exercising as far as improving your immune system. Taking vitamins that are specifically designed to meet seniors’ needs and eating nutritious food regularly help your body get the nutrients it needs to resist illnesses and injuries, and regular check-ups can help you identify potential health issues before they become bigger problems.
At Nye Health Services, we are proud to meet the unique needs of your senior years and help you learn to take an active role in managing your health as you age. We are always here to answer any questions you may have and help you make adjustments to your lifestyle to accommodate your changing immune system and other health needs. Currently, we have one location in Wyoming and have several locations throughout Nebraska. Contact us today to learn more about the senior health services we offer or to schedule an appointment!