"Wash your hands. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. Don't touch your face. Use Hand Sanitizer with 60% alcohol. Sanitize and disinfect frequently touched places. Wear gloves. Wear a mask. Avoid handshakes. Maintain a 6 foot distance between others. Avoid crowds. Stay home."
So many recommendations are being offered about how to avoid exposure to this new virus, however, not much has been shared about how to boost your immune system to protect yourself if your body does come into contact with unwanted pathogens. According to the CDC website, "8 out of 10 deaths (related to COVID19) reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older." Those statistics are downright scary!! As Baby Boomers, it is especially important to not only do what you can do to limit your risk of exposure, but also boost the resiliency of your immune system to overcome this or any other health threat that may come your way. Here are some key tips for seniors to consider to keep your body working as efficiently as it can.
Water is essential for many body functions, including immune responses. Drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day is a common recommendation for adults. If your urine is clear, you're doing well. If it's gold or yellow, keep drinking. Remember to get those ounces in before 6pm otherwise it may interfere with your ability to sleep through the night without awakening for a trip to the bathroom.
Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods
According to this "Very Well Health" article (Click Here), we should choose from these foods high in anti-oxidants:
- Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and collard greens)
- Sweet potatoes
- Nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts)
- Beans (such as red beans, pinto beans, and black beans)
- Whole grains (such as oats and brown rice)
- Dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)
- Oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies)
There's also some evidence that certain culinary herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic, can help alleviate inflammation."
Avoid Virus-loving Foods
Viruses feed off of eggs, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, pork and Canola oil, according to Anthony William, author of the "Medical Medium" book series. By limiting or avoiding intake of these foods, there will be less fuel to feed the viral cells and therefore less inflammatory response.
Vitamin C, Zinc and Glutathione are some of the most commonly discussed supplements to keep our immune system functioning well, especially for Baby Boomers and seniors, as their levels of Glutathione, a vital antioxidant, are typically lower. Vitamins D and B are also helpful to combat the effects fo the increased stress level this time in history has created for many of us. To find the correct dosage of supplementation for you, contact your primary care, functional medicine, or alternative health care practitioner. You can also find helpful information on Dr. Mercola's website (Click here). You can choose to sign up to receive his natural newsletter focused on holistic nutrition and fitness strategies to stay up to date with current recommendations for seniors.
Movement and regular exercise are especially important for Baby Boomers to boost immune health. The muscular system serves as a pump for lymphatic fluid, which carries out the body's waste products, so the vitality of the immune system is dependent upon moving on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many older individuals are not as active as they were in younger years due to reduced energy levels, limited mobility, chronic pain from stress or previous injuries, or fear of hurting themselves. Now that most gyms and health clubs are closed, it is important to maintain a daily movement or exercise program at home and outdoors if possible. Walking, gentle, progressive body weight resistance exercises or band exercises can be helpful for getting your muscles pumping to help your lymphatic fluid and waste products to move OUT of your system. Being sure that your body is working as efficiently as possible from head to toe is crucial to your immune system's vitality.
By following the recommendations above, Baby Boomers will be in the best shape possible to ward off whatever pathogens may come your way. Attending your regularly scheduled appointments at 1212 Bodyworks will ensure that you keep all your muscles firing and your immune system vibrant, and that you have the tools and techniques to use at home to keep you moving well!
Looking forward to helping you keep your whole body and immune system in optimal condition. Be safe, stay healthy, and take good care of yourselves!
(Written June 2020)