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Now that it is officially 2021, everyone is more than ready for a fresh, healthy new year! This is the time to plan your goals or resolutions for the next 12 months and make any positive lifestyle changes you’ve been thinking about. This year (more than any other year previously), be sure to prioritize your health.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take our physical health for granted. While the COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of a very long, difficult tunnel we’ve all traveled this past year, there are additional steps you can take to maintain your immune health. When your immune system is in tip-top shape, you can keep an active, fulfilling lifestyle and thrive.

What Does Your Immune System Do and Why Is It Important?

Think of your immune system as the operator behind the curtain; you can’t actually see your immune system, but it’s there fighting off bacteria, viruses and other toxins day in and day out. This is a grueling job, given the millions of germs we’re exposed to every single day. That’s why your immune system is made up of a variety of organs, cells and proteins that work together to protect your body and keep you healthy.

You may not even realize when your immune system is functioning properly, since you’re able to go about your day like normal and do what you want to do. When we’re sick or feeling under the weather, though, that’s when you realize that your immune health isn’t where it should be. Instead of waiting for an illness to strike, there are natural ways to support your immune system so that it continues to protect you from colds and other diseases.

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Getting sick every once in a while is inevitable. However, there are five natural activities you can add to your weekly routine that can give your immune system a much-needed boost:
 

  1. Consume a Healthy Diet – What you eat every day is imperative to your overall health and how well your body functions. A diet that includes proteins, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains offers the nutrients your body and mind need. For increased immune health, be sure to add foods rich in vitamin C, garlic, carrots and spinach into your weekly meal prep.
     
  2. Get Enough Sleep – You probably know that a lack of sleep can leave you feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. But did you know the amount of sleep you get each night contributes to how well your body can fight off infections? You should aim to sleep seven to eight hours each night so your body can effectively keep itself healthy.
     
  3. Exercise Regularly – Exercise doesn’t just keep you physically fit and improve your mood; it can actually make you more resilient to infections and diseases! In general, the more physically active you are, the better your immune system will likely be at keeping you healthy. You should aim to participate in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or take part in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 75 minutes every week.
     
  4. Reduce Your Stress Levels – Naturally, the less stress your body has to handle, the better your immune system can function. A great way you can reduce your stress is by taking part in meditation or yoga every day. Simply sitting still and breathing or participating in relaxed stretching exercises each day can reduce your blood pressure and levels of anxiety.
     
  5. Use Natural Immunity Remedies - You can use natural supplements, such as essential oils, to help protect yourself from illnesses. Natural oils like eucalyptus and tea tree oils contain antiviral properties that may help protect you from infection from viruses. You can also use lavender essential oil to calm yourself, ease anxiety and improve your sleep – all factors that can elevate your immune health.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

As of late 2020, there is also another way you can boost your immune system and protect yourself from the COVID-19 virus – the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these FDA-approved vaccines:
 

  • Are safe and have been evaluated by the U.S. vaccine safety system
  • Can help protect you from contracting the COVID-19 virus after the necessary two doses
  • Are already being distributed across the nation, prioritizing healthcare workers, senior living communities and older adults.

For more COVID-19 vaccine information, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official website.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle at Knute Nelson

At Knute Nelson, we put the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff members above everything else. From providing residents with healthy, nutritious meals and physical activity to following all recommended COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols, we aim to keep our senior living communities as safe as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and what a healthy, thriving lifestyle could look like at Knute Nelson.