It does not matter what age you are, it’s important to take care of your body and mind to prevent illness.

If you’re 65 or older, a simple cold can cause complications and infections that can be life altering. Add to that chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes which can complicate any illness. 

That’s why it is so important to make healthy choices to strengthen your immune system and reduce illness. Follow these five simple tips to stay healthy year-round.

1. Stay active

The more you move, the more your body is able to fight off disease and infection. Low impact exercises can be as effective as strenuous workouts and may be better at keeping you engaged and improve your emotional outlook. Consider walking, swimming or stretching exercises. Any activity that you enjoy can benefit your health.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Fruits, vegetables and lean meats give your immune system a boost and protect against harmful viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Limit your sugar and fatty food intake, which can trigger inflammation in the body. Drink more water. Water flushes out toxins. Staying hydrated will give you more energy.

3. Learn how to manage stress

Chronic stress creates the hormone cortisol which disrupts different functions in your body including your immune system. Physical activity and getting plenty of sleep can be great stress fighters.

4. Take steps to get preventive and wellness visits

Disease prevention and early detection services can keep you from getting certain diseases or can help you find health problems early, when treatment works best. Talk with your doctor or health care provider to find out what tests or other services you may need. If you have Medicare Part B, you’ll be able to get many preventive services at no cost to you. 

5. Stay Connected

Isolation and loneliness are harmful to your health. Research has proven that lonely people have higher levels of stress hormones that cause inflammation or swelling linked to arthritis and diabetes. Friends offer support in times of stress and boost our optimism, confidence, and willingness to try new things. There are lots of different ways to meet new people. You could meet them at a community event, traveling or while volunteering.

You can’t prevent all illnesses, but taking a proactive approach can strengthen your immune system and keep you healthier throughout the year. To learn more about how many Medicare Advantage plans include different types of benefits to help you stay healthy, schedule a personal consultation with an Ohio Health Benefit agent by calling toll free at (866) 235-8378 or click here to email us your name and phone number for us to call you. Calls are not recorded and your information is confidential.