Senior couple exercising in park.

Importance of Immune Health for Seniors

The main purposed of your immune system is to protect your body from viruses and bacteria. Your immune system actively works by recognizing the difference between your body’s cells and alien cells, allowing it to destroy anything that could be potentially harmful.

You probably don’t notice your immune system working around the clock to protect you when you’re feeling healthy, but you will notice when something’s wrong and your immune system works to fight off illness and infection. Make sure you take good care of your immune system to ensure you stay healthy; a great way to do this is through regular exercise.

5 Ways Exercise Helps Immune Health

You may be wondering how exercise can help boost your immune health – well there’s actually a few ways it can do just that.

  1. Flush Out Bacteria. Physical activity can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, which can help reduce your chances of getting a cold, flu or other illness.
  1. Strengthen Antibodies. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s immune system cells that work to fight off diseases. When these antibodies circulate more rapidly, they can detect illnesses earlier and may be able to help fight illnesses off more efficiently. 
  1. Prevent Bacteria Growth. The brief increase in body temperature during exercise may help prevent the growth of bacteria. The temperature rise can also help the body fight infection better.
  1. Slow the Release of Stress Hormones. When you exercise, you actively slow the release of stress hormones. Since too much stress can increase your chance of becoming ill, you increase your body’s protection against illness when lowering the amount of stress hormones in your body.
  1. Reduce Inflammation. Light to moderate exercise can help reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a necessary part of the body’s immune response, but too much inflammation can actually lead to disease. As little as 20 minutes of exercise a day can help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. This moderate exercise can simply be walking for 20 minutes each day.

3 Ways to Stay Fit at Home

Now that you’re aware of all the ways exercise can help boost your immune system, you’re probably thinking, “how can I stay fit at home?” Here are three ways you can stay active and healthy from home.

  1. Online Workout Videos. You can stay fit by watching different workout videos available free online. YouTube is a great source for all kinds of videos and allows you to customize your search based on the type of workout you’re interested in.
  1. Go for a Walk. An easy way you can stay active is by going for a walk. It doesn’t matter how long or how far you walk as long as you’re staying active. If you’re able to take outdoor walks, that is also a great way to get a change of scenery. There are also guided walking videos on YouTube that help you “walk at home” if you’re unable to get outdoors.
  1. Use Household Items. If you’re looking to challenge yourself and add a little resistance to your workouts, you can easily incorporate household items into your workout. For example, you can use canned goods as weights during a yoga workout or fill a backpack with items and wear it during your walk to add resistance.

Boost Your Immune System at Saint Simeon’s

You will have no issue staying fit and active at Saint Simeon’s Senior Wellness Center. Our Wellness Center staff can work with you to customize a senior wellness program that is specific to your needs.

Our Senior Wellness Center includes state-of-the-art exercise equipment, exercise programs to improve balance and stamina, a massage room and an indoor warm water saline pool. To learn more about how you can stay active and healthy, contact us today.

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