Tips on how to improve your immune system as you get older Life’s stresses and strains can often have untold consequences on your health without you realising until you become unwell or start to feel off-colour. There are many things to look out for so you can keep yourself in top shape. What are the signs of a weak immune system? Your immune system is made up of a complex network of cells and proteins that defend your body against infection. When your immune system is weakened, you may start to feel a little unlike your usual self. There are key signs that to look out for when this starts to happen: You start to get stomach problems – Did you know that nearly 70 per-cent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? Beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live there help to fight off unwanted infections and support your immune systems. Low amounts of these helpful gut bacteria can leave you prone to viruses, chronic inflammation and even autoimmune disorders. Your wounds are slow to heal – When you get a cut, burn or scrape, your body works to protect the wound by sending nutrient-rich blood to the injury to help new skin regrowth. This healing process depends on you having healthy immune cells. When your immune system is weak you may notice some of these cuts and grazes take much longer to heal themselves. You get lots of colds and start to feel run down – Typically, adults get two to three colds per year, which you will often bounce back from in between seven and ten days. If you notice your bugs sticking around for longer or becoming more frequent this could be due to your body not being able to fight them off as quickly. This also applies to more frequent infections, a pointer to a possible immune deficiency in adults. You feel tired all the time – there’s a fine line between knowing if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends or if you are feeling sluggish for another reason. Being constantly fatigued and suffering from unusual exhaustion could point to your body not being looked after as well as it could be. How to improve your immune system as you get older? Making a few minor lifestyle changes and new habits can help to keep your body in top condition and improve your immune system. They don’t have to be life changing either. These new habits could include: Eating a balanced diet Getting enough sleep Exercising regularly. Did you know that just popping out for a 30-minute walk has huge health benefits? You can read more about it here. Washing your hands Keeping up with vaccines Not smoking Trying to minimise stress Maintaining a healthy weight At Platinum Skies, we believe that having a healthy and happy retirement is beneficial for all of our homeowners. We have a full-time Community Manager at each of our locations, who are happy to connect you with like-minded residents to help you to engage in a mix of social activities. Many of our retirement living sites have features such as activity rooms, treatment rooms, bistros and communal areas – meaning you can keep active and eat healthily. To find out more, call us on 01202 805546.