All of us do not age at the same rate, but once you have already hit your forties, certain signs of aging will eventually begin to make themselves more obvious than before. Now the question is, at a time when our bodies begin to go through permanent hormonal changes, and our bones and muscles start to lose density, is it really possible to boost the immune system? As it turns out, we actually can boost our immune system even after we have crossed our forties, fifties or even sixties, provided we take the right steps at the right time. In fact, some of the measures that we are going to discuss next are also effective in pushing back certain other negative impacts of aging as well, such as a loss of bone density and muscle mass.
The Right Kind of Supplementation
The term supplement is a very broad term and it encompasses everything that provides nutrition to our body in some form or another. Therefore, when we are talking about taking supplements for a boosted immune system post forty, it needs to be specific to that purpose before everything else.
Take the Immutol Norwegian Beta Glucan supplement for example from Immunocorp, which is made from beta glucan derived from baker’s yeast. When taken on a daily basis, it doesn’t just boost our immunity, the supplement also plays an active role in protecting the immune system itself. Immunocorp is a supplement manufacturer that specifically creates and markets products that are made from purely natural ingredients, designed to naturally strengthen the human immune system and push back other signs of aging. They have a very select list of other supplements listed on the site that are particularly helpful to the older generations, but their benefits are not exclusive to just the over forties. This means that anybody from any age group can benefit from Immunocorp supplements with varying effects, depending on the individual and the supplement concerned.
Weight Training Can Have Age-Reversing Effects
While all forms of exercise in general help to keep the body healthy and the immune system strong, weight training, or progressive resistance training proves to be the most effective for individuals past their forties or older. People around you might have already told you to avoid weights as you are past forty and losing bone density, but that’s poor advice. The truth is, studies clearly show that people much older than forty are able to retain significantly more muscle mass and bone density through systematic weight training than their peers who limited themselves to only aerobic exercises. As it turns out, they were even able to add on more muscle mass and increase bone density at an age where it is commonly and mistakenly not thought to be possible. The increased muscle mass and better blood circulation automatically contributes to a stronger immune system as an obvious effect.
Just in case you need more incentive, consider the fact that systematically lifting weights also burns fat at a much faster rate, in addition to preventing further fat gain to a great degree. Don’t drop your cardio sessions after forty, but it might be time to concentrate more on lifting those heavier weights.
Sleeping is More Important Than Ever
While the exact number of necessary hours varies, everyone from infants to super seniors need to sleep for many hours on a daily basis to stay healthy and strong, so that’s pretty much a given for all of us. However, once you have turned forty, it is important to recognize that your need to sleep is more dire than it was five or ten years ago. The all-nighters you pulled earlier with a groggy next day being the only apparent effect are now behind you. Each night that you lose a significant amount of sleep will contribute to a weakened immune system.
If this is a habit that you can relate to yourself, due to work schedules or any other private reasons, you will begin to notice effects like frequent colds, susceptibility to infections, increased allergies, long recovery times post an infection, bad mood, inability to concentrate, unrelenting tiredness, etc. When you neglect such symptoms for a long time and continue to be on that 5-6 hours of sleep per day schedule even after forty, other more serious effects such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders may show up. In order to maintain proper mental and physical health, anyone above forty should be sleeping for at least 7.5 – 8 hours every single night, but not more than 9 hours.
Hydration Needs to be Attended to More Closely
As we start to get older, we actually do not feel the need to quench our thirst as often as we should, due to multiple internal and external factors such as diseases, disorders, and the associated medications themselves. This is why it is recommended to make sure that you are drinking at least two to three liters of water per day, every day with a conscious effort. In case you are wondering how drinking a lot of water per day is related to better immune function, then consider the following points for a better understanding of the relationship between the two:
- A sufficient intake of water on a daily basis quite literally washes away germs and other toxins from the liver and the kidneys
- Proper hydration leads to proper supply of oxygen to the white blood cells, which are basically responsible for preventing infections and diseases on a constant basis
Nutrition Needs to Be Adjusted
Particularly for women, nutritional needs have to be adjusted and properly supplemented, in order for the immune system to function without degradation even past forty. While a dietician would be able to provide better guidance, the following few tips should help direct your efforts better:
- Increase the intake of starchy, non-starchy and leafy green vegetables
- Including a wide range of fruits in your daily diet is recommended
- Switch to whole grains
- Increase healthy protein intake (poultry, chia seeds, seafood, etc.) and omega-3 fats
- Shift to olive oil for cooking
- Decrease sugar, salt and alcohol consumption
- Decrease your overall calorie consumption by 5% – 10%
- Include vitamin D3 with calcium and magnesium supplements in your daily diet
A point to remember through all this is that while these steps are effective and proven immunity boosters for women over forty, the earlier you start with a healthy lifestyle, the better the results will be on adopting these methods we just discussed. This is true in relation to not just the immune system, but almost every other aspect of health as well.