Tis the season for holiday cheer and winter fun. Unfortunately, the winter season is also a time for the cold, the flu and a plethora of other illnesses. With age, our immune systems begin to weaken, making our bodies vulnerable to infections. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle can help improve immune health and fight off illnesses. Here are five immune building tips for active older adults to ensure you are ready to take on the cold and flu season in the months to come.
Focus on nutrition.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet plays a big role in your body’s ability to fight infection and promote good overall health. Choose nutrient-dense foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats over sugary or fried foods. You don’t have to skip your favorite holiday snacks and treats entirely! Just remember to eat them in moderation and make healthy eating habits your priority.
Here at The Reserve, there’s never a shortage of nutritious meals and delicious dining. We offer a variety of dining options that cater to our residents’ unique tastes and lifestyles. Our residents love sitting down in The Reserve’s spacious dining room for a healthy meal prepared for you with fresh, locally sourced ingredients our on-site chef.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Did you know that poor sleep habits can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to common infections? Regular, quality sleep is a key component of overall physical and mental health, giving your immune system time to recuperate and regenerate while your body is resting. You can make some simple changes to your day and pre-bedtime routine to achieve better nighttime sleep including:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Add physical activity to your day.
- Use your bedroom for sleeping only.
- Try to do a relaxing activity before bed such as reading, playing music, a bath or drinking tea.
- Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals close to your bedtime.
- Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom.
Drink plenty of water.
Drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for nutrient absorption, digestion and overall energy. As a general rule, aim to drink about half your weight in ounces or more per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces of water every day. You can also increase hydration by consuming water-rich foods, like celery, lettuce, cucumber, grapefruit, and strawberries.
The holidays are busy and chaotic, but don’t let your exercise routine slip to the wayside. There are many benefits to exercising regularly, including:
- Manage a healthy weight.
- Strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Increase balance, mobility and reduce risk for falls.
- Improve your mood and mental health.
- Increase energy levels.
- Prevent or delay diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis.
- Enhance cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
We make it easy to maintain a healthy workout routine during the winter season—and all year round! At The Reserve, residents can workout independently in our fully equipped fitness center or join a group exercise class with other residents. If the weather is cooperating, get outside and enjoy some fresh air. One of the perks of living in Geneva is that residents have access to plenty of parks and walking paths, including the Fox River Trail.
It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness or depression, especially during the holiday season. Chronic stress causes the body to go into survival mode, which suppresses your immune system and makes it difficult to fight infection. This winter, make time to practice self-care by doing things that bring you joy and comfort. This might mean going on a trip, spending more time with grandkids or taking a gentle yoga class at The Reserve to help ease your mind and relieve your worries.
At The Reserve, we help alleviate common daily stresses in a variety of ways, such as handling all your home maintenance, household chores, meal preparation and even transportation to medical and social commitments.
A Healthy, Active Lifestyle at The Reserve
This winter, take charge of your health by taking steps now to protect and boost your immune system. At The Reserve of Geneva, we prioritize the health and happiness of our residents by creating a worry-free lifestyle that caters to the active adults we serve. To learn more or to schedule a personal tour, contact The Reserve today.