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How to keep your immune system strong after 60

Immune senescence is a term used to describe the tendency for the aging immune system to allow more infections and illnesses to take hold of the body. Although inflammation and infection play the biggest role in weakening an aging immune system, a senior person can fight them. 1

Fortunately there are ways to keep one’s immunity strong beyond 60. It is important to observe the following habits to protect the body from viruses and other health conditions. 1,2

Stay active and exercise regularly

Physical activity for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week may help fight off illnesses. Avoiding sitting for long periods of time is also one measure to staying active and healthy. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to health problems ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure.2

Quit smoking

Smoking causes lung inflammation which uses up antibodies that fight infections elsewhere. This puts a person at risk for illnesses such as pneumonia and flu.1

Avoid alcohol consumption

Five or more drinks in one occasion or more days in a 30-day period is considered excessive. Drinking too much limits immunity-boosting nutrients, lowering the white blood cells’ ability to kill germs. Excessive alcohol intake heightens risk of infection. A heavy drinker is twice as likely to die from pneumonia than those who drink within a healthy amount. Heavy drinkers also make up more than one-third of those with tuberculosis.1

Hydrate well

Water helps the energy, digestion, skin health, and enhances sleep. It allows the body to better absorb vitamins and minerals and eliminate waste. Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces everyday is a good rule of thumb to follow. Consuming foods that have a high water content such as leafy greens, berries, and melon will also help.2

Get enough sleep

The body needs sleep to regenerate. This recovery time is even more important for older adults, who are more susceptible to inflammation, infection, and fatigue. Most health experts recommend eight hours of quality sleep per night.2

Consume a well-balanced diet

While this is important at every age, it is especially so for older adults. A healthy diet is the best way to take in the vitamins, minerals, and protein necessary for a strong immune system .2

Because it is a challenge to get the right nutrients in the right amounts consistently, taking supplements can be helpful. Ensure contains HMB that help to protect against muscle breakdown and high-quality protein that support natural muscular synthesis function. Ensure provides a complete and balanced nutrition to support overall wellness and immunity.3