7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System this Winter

With the winter season settling in nicely here in Charlotte, it’s important to remember that cold and flu season is in full swing. This can be a risky time for seniors and at The Cypress of Charlotte, we want to make sure each of our Members has the tools they need to avoid coming down with something. So, what can you do to keep your immune system balanced and strong as these common viruses are thriving? Check out a few of our favorite immune boosting tips to stay healthy and avoid infection all winter long.

1. Eat Smarter

Eating a diet rich in healthy nutrients and vitamins is the easiest way to give your immune system a boost. Whether you like to cook yourself or you’re more of a take-out fan, try aiming for meals that feature foods which are high in vitamins A, C, E, and D. Other important nutrients that help to boost your immune system include whole foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts, as well as fruits and veggies that are high in selenium and zinc.

2. Get More Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to naturally strengthen the immune system while keeping the body healthy and can be found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of vitamin C include kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and bell peppers.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Not only is staying hydrated one of the greatest things you can do for your health, but it also helps fight common viruses like the cold and the flu. Water is a vital element in the production of lymph, which works to carry your white blood cells and other immune system cells throughout the body. So be sure to drink plenty of water this winter and for a little extra boost try adding a few orange or lemon slices to your water to get a bit more vitamin C with each glass.

 

4. Exercise

Not only is exercise a great way to keep your body in shape, but it also works to increase your immune function, improves the quality of your sleep and helps to relieve stress. Anything from a few laps in the pool to a day spent walking around exploring the local museums can be great for getting your heart rate up a bit and sending a boost to your immune system.

5. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

After the holiday rush, it can be difficult to get back to a normal sleeping schedule. But you should be doing all that you can to make sure you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Chronic fatigue has been shown to increase your risk of many different types of illness, so try to get some shut-eye whenever possible. Having a tough time sleeping for 7 to 8 hours straight? Try taking a nap to get a few extra hours of rest each day.

 

6. Try Cooking at Home

Whether or not you fancy yourself a home chef, experimenting with herbs and spices in the kitchen can also be a great way to boost your immune system. Try out a few new recipes that feature healthy herbs and spices like ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic and black peppercorn. Each of these common spices contains lots of healthy components that work to naturally give your immune system a boost.

7. Catch Some Rays

Even as the weather gets colder, it’s important that you make an effort to get outside every now and then. Vitamin D is vital for strengthening the immune system and has been shown to fight off the winter blues. We suggest getting out each day for about 30 minutes or so when the sun is not at its highest. An early morning or evening walk is one great way to get in some gentle exercise and enjoy your daily dose of vitamin D.

Relax and Enjoy a Healthy Winter Season

In addition to following a few of our favorite healthy tips this winter, we think it’s always a good idea to relax and have fun whenever you can. Stress and depression are also big contributors to a weakened immune system, so do your best to have some fun as the weather gets colder. Whether you are spending more time with friends or you’ve joined a book club, setting aside some “me time” can do wonders for your health!

Interested in learning more about our Life Plan Community? For more information on what makes The Cypress of Charlotte so great or to schedule a tour, be sure to visit our friendly staff online today.

 

Top Things for Seniors to do Around Charlotte this Month

With sporting events, fresh foods, top museums, and a high quality of life, Charlotte has a lot to offer older adults. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite activities for seniors to enjoy around the Queen City. 

1. Dine Out for Restaurant Week 

January brings Restaurant Week to Charlotte. Held from January 19-28, the event allows diners to enjoy discounted prix fixe meals at 130 restaurants across nine counties in the metro Charlotte area. For $30 to $35 dollars, excluding tax and tip, seniors can sample fresh food from some of the city’s most inventive chefs. Enjoy a romantic date with your spouse or get a group together for a memorable night out. Reservations are not required during Restaurant Week but they are recommended, as the discounted prices can bring crowds at local favorites. 

2. Get Together for Coffee

After the busy holiday period, why not connect with friends for coffee and conversation? The metro Charlotte area is full of great coffee shops. Some local favorites include Not Just Coffee (which has several locations across Charlotte), Parliament Espresso And Coffee Bar, Central Coffee Company, Hex Coffee and Mugs Coffee.

3. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame 

You don’t need to be a race car enthusiast to enjoy a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame features the plaques and medals you might expect, but it also explains NASCAR’s history and offers an interactive pit stop experience at the Race Week exhibit. Seniors 65+ receive a discount on tickets. While the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a fun experience any time of year, we like it for chilly winter days when you want to stay active, but don’t want to be outdoors.  We will be taking our members on a private tour on the 23rd!

4. Learn Something New 

It’s always a great time to learn something new or increase your skill with a favorite hobby. While some classes are targeted toward seniors, others take an intergenerational approach. 

In Charlotte, seniors can attend the Senior Scholars Programs at Queens University of Charlotte, where they enjoy lectures from prominent speakers. Past topics have included gerrymandering and the Supreme Court, strategies for coping with difficult people, and a field trip to the Reed Gold Mine. 

Additionally, Central Piedmont Community College offers practical and personal enrichment courses in topics that include automotive, culinary arts, culture, language learning, personal finance, floral design, fitness, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and much more.

5. Spot Birds and Learn About Gardening at Wing Haven 

Wing Haven is a great experience any time of year, but winter features special programming including horticultural lectures, birding excursions, and gardening field trips. Upcoming programs include winter gardening, storm proofing trees, pruning perennials, and the Great Backyard Bird Count, held in February. 

6. Catch Pop-Up Opera

Opera Carolina is hosting a unique pop-up event at the 7th Street Public Market. See the opera’s take on New York Fashion Week gowns, hear top arias and musical theater numbers sung by the opera company’s talent, and get discounted tickets for upcoming performance. The free pop-up event takes place January 26 at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

7. Explore the Carolinas Aviation Museum 

North Carolina is pivotal to aviation history, and there’s no better place to learn about the history of flight than at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, which (appropriately enough) is located at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. There, you’ll find exhibits about commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and helicopters. When weather permits on weekends, you can visit an active ramp on a docent-led tour of several airplanes. Seniors get a discount on admission.

8. Take the Trolley to Uptown Crawl 

On Uptown Crawl, held January 25 from 9:00-9:00 p.m., art lovers of all ages can take the trolley to local galleries and musicians. You’ll enjoy free trolley rides, free admission, and a chance to experience some of the city’s art scene. 

9. Hear Local Musicians 

Every Friday evening, you can catch local musicians at the Final-E Friday Acoustic series, held at Coco and the Director in Charlotte Center City. Admission is free and bands vary. Whether you prefer pop or country, you’ll find something to appreciate. 

If you’ve visited Charlotte and enjoy the area, have you considered relocating? The Cypress of Charlotte is a luxury Life Plan Community in Charlotte where active and healthy older adults can live independently, enjoy community, and take advantage of all the wonderful things to do in Charlotte. 

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