Flu season in the United States is from October to May, and this virus can impact individuals from all walks of life and varying ages annually. Fly symptoms involve headaches, body aches, chills, fever, runny noses, and coughing. Symptoms could be very severe to mild and usually last anywhere between one to two weeks. Influenza may not result in serious issues for some people, however, there is a chance for problems in persons that are sixty-five years and older. The reason is that older adults have a tendency to have immune systems that are weaker. So, if you are sixty-five years old or over, find below the things you can do in order to strengthen the immune system and stop the flu and its complications.
Get A Flu Vaccination
A yearly flu vaccination could decrease the chances of infection by as much as forty to sixty percent. It could take as much as two weeks for the vaccination to become effective. The vaccine works by activating the immune system into making antibodies, which could assist in defending the body against infection. There are vaccines for persons of any age, two of the vaccine that is specifically geared towards older adults ages sixty-five and older are Fluad and Fluzone. These vaccinations offer a stronger response in the immune system as compared to the standard flu shot. The flu virus alters in appearance from year to year; therefore individuals are required to repeat the vaccinations annually.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a nutrient-rich, healthy diet is yet another way to enhance the immune system so that it could be able to defend against viruses. This would include eating a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, which consists of antioxidants and vitamins to encourage good health. Individuals must also decrease the intake of fat, sugar, and processed foods, and select lean meats. If a person believes that they are not receiving adequate amounts of nutrients and vitamins from their diet alone, they should consult a medical professional and ascertain whether they suggest taking a herbal or multivitamin supplement.
Arduous physical activity could become more difficult as you age, however, that does not mean that you should halt moving altogether. Frequent physical activity could strengthen the immune system and assist the body in defending against viruses and infections. Aspire for a minimum of thirty minutes of physical activity three days per week. This could include swimming, yoga, biking, walking, or any other low-impact exercise. Working out stimulates the circulation of the blood and has an anti-inflammatory impact on the body.
Reduce Your Stress Level
Chronic stress could impact the immune system, reducing its effectiveness. When someone is suffering from stress, the body amplifies the manufacturing of cortisol, a hormone that aids the body in handling situations that are stressful. It also restricts the bodily functions which are not important in a fight or flight scenario. Stress that is short-lived has no serious effect on the body. Chronic stress, however, reduces the immune system reaction, making the body vulnerable to illnesses and viruses. To aid in decreasing the level of stress, set limits and do not be scared to say no. Take on activities that are relaxing and enjoyable to you, such as gardening and reading.
Get Loads Of Sleep
Inadequate amounts of sleep decrease the effectiveness of the body’s immune system. Sleep rises in importance as you get older due to the fact that it assists in enhancing functions of the brain, memory, and concentration. Adults who are older and do not get enough sleep are also vulnerable to nighttime falls. Seek to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. In order to improve the sleep quality, ensure the room is quiet, dark, and cool. Keep a standard bedtime regiment and place limitations on daytime naps to a maximum of forty-five minutes. Avoid consuming caffeine during the late hours of the day and do not drink water or any other beverage at least one and a half hours prior to going to bed.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
In the event that a person is overweight, additional physical activity and altering one’s diet could also aid in shedding extra pounds. This is vital due to the fact that carrying around so much weight could have a negative effect on the immune system. Both eating a healthy diet and physical activity could decrease the quantity of inflammation and keep the immune system strong and healthy.
Chemicals found in cigarettes are notorious for causing damage to the lung tissue and enhancing the chance of developing cancer. However, they could result in respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and the flu. In order to improve the immune system function, take steps to stop smoking entirely. Employ smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum or nicotine patches. Individuals could also consult their primary health care provider regarding medications to decrease the cravings for cigarettes.
Spend Time Outdoors
Vitamin D also aids in strengthening the immune system. If the levels of vitamin D are low, your primary health care provider might prescribe supplements or suggest an over-the-counter multivitamin that could help. Spending extra time outdoors permits the body to convert vitamin D from the rays of the sun naturally. The quantity of exposure to the sun that is required is dependent on the skin tone of the individual. Some individuals require as little as fifteen minutes while others require as much as two hours.