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Maintaining health in the golden years

Cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and dementia are common chronic conditions in old age. Osteoarthritis, diabetes, and related mobility disabilities will increase in prevalence as the population ages. These population changes have considerable public health importance. No matter your age, it is important to take care of your body and prevent illness. But if you are older, the flu or common cold can progress and lead to complications. This includes secondary infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, an ear infection, or a sinus infection.

If you have a chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes, a respiratory illness can make these conditions worse. Because of this, it is important to make healthy choices to strengthen your immune system and reduce the likelihood of illness. Physical activity is an immune system booster. The more you move, the more your body can fight inflammation and infections. Low-impact exercises are also effective in this case. You can get engaged in moderate-intensity exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes a day to reach the recommended total of 150 minutes a week.

Some supplements help support a healthy immune system. Some supplements they may recommend include calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12. Take supplements or multivitamins as instructed to boost your immune system.

Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats also give your immune system a boost and protect against harmful viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and keep your body healthy. You should also limit your consumption of sugary and fatty foods, which can trigger inflammation in the body and lower your immune system.

Washing your hands regularly is another excellent way to stay healthy year-round. Viruses can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. It is possible to become ill if you touch a virus-covered surface, contaminate your hands, and then touch your face. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water often and for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your nose, face, and mouth with your hands.

Chronic stress increases your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can disrupt different functions in your body, including your immune system. To reduce stress, increase physical activity, get plenty of sleep, set reasonable expectations for yourself, and explore relaxing, enjoyable activities. Not only can sleep reduce your stress level, but sleep is also how your body repairs itself. For this reason, getting an adequate amount of sleep can result in a stronger immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off viruses. Sleep is also important as you get older because it can improve memory and concentration. Causes of insomnia can include inactivity during the day and too much caffeine. Or it can be a sign of a medical condition like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.

Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can go undetected. Regular physical examinations will enable your doctor to diagnose any problems early. Getting early treatment may prevent long-term complications.

Also, if you have any cold or flu symptoms, see your doctor immediately. The flu virus can lead to complications in adults over the age of 65. The immune system weakens with age, making it harder to fight off the virus. If you must go out, protect yourself by wearing a face mask. If you are caring for someone with the flu, wear a face mask and gloves and wash your hands frequently.