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.
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.