Remember how fast you could run at 18? You find you can no longer match that speed or the time taken to recover your breath now that you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s or older. Well, you have discovered a fundamental truth about your body; it loses some of its abilities as you age. This is true of every bodily function, even your immunity.
How does immunity work?
Your immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs. They work together to defend your body from disease causing germs. The T cells are your soldiers. They communicate with each other, attack germs and disease-causing cells, remember invaders and so work faster during subsequent invasions.
What happens as you get older?
This process as with all other systems in your body slows down as you age. You will also have fewer T cells. The result:
• You are likely to get sick more often.
• You may take longer to recover from an illness.
• Injuries take longer to heal.
• Your risk of getting complications become higher.
This happens to everyone, but the rate at which it happens varies for each person.
The good news is that, though your immunity does weaken, it does not do so alarmingly or suddenly, unless you have a health condition that compromises your immunity. This means that you will still be able to stay healthy, but it will take a little more effort and time.
How can you maintain your immunity even as you age?
It is not very difficult to stay healthy as you get older. You just need to follow these simple steps.
Manage your health conditions- diabetes, high blood cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease and other chronic conditions pose a constant threat to your health. Get regular health check ups and keep them under control to stay healthy and prevent complications.
Adopt a healthy diet- your meals should have healthy portions of vitamins and minerals. Include fruits and vegetables, the best natural sources of vitamins and minerals that are required to fight disease and boost immunity.
Limit alcohol and avoid smoking- these habits can cause great harm to your health and in the long run create major health issues.
Avoid visiting sick people- contagious diseases spread quickly in closed surroundings and are especially dangerous to older people. It is easier for an older person to catch a cold or flu than a younger person with a more robust immune system.
Have a good night’s sleep- a person who sleeps well for at least 7 hours has better immunity that a person with too little or poor-quality sleep. If you have any condition that interferes with sleep, get it treated.
Reduce stress- stress is very harmful to health. It leads to sleeplessness, bad diet choices etc. which could lead to diseases and disorders. Long term stress may reduce your immune response.
Stay active- being active and mobile, and exercising moderately boosts your immune system. It will also improve circulation and allow cells to move freely strengthening your immune response.
Get vaccinated- there are adult vaccines available to prevent infections. Consult your doctor and get whatever you need to help increase your immunity.
So, in the final analysis, though your immune response may become slower or weaker as you grow older, it can still work efficiently to protect you and keep you healthy.
Contact us for a preventive health check that will help you stay healthy.