As you have gotten older, you may be taking more and more sick days. You probably have found that you contract colds and flu more often than when you were younger. You might also have noticed that it is now harder to recover from these bugs.
In fact, the average person over 50 is likely to catch 2 to 4 more colds each year than men and women between 20 and 40. These bugs often escalate into sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, or worse. Seniors represent more than 60% of the 36,000 annual flu related deaths. Long waits, inaccurate formulas, and shortages mean that you cannot always count on a vaccine to save you.
If you do not want to become one of these statistics, it is important that you boost your immune system. Fitness over 50 is one of the best natural ways to improve your immune health. In fact, many fitness experts recommend bodybuilding as a method to improve your overall health and increase your immune system.
Bodybuilding builds muscle and this helps your immune system on several levels. Muscle burns more calories than fat, therefore it prevents weight gain. Doctors know that people who are overweight are more likely to have poor immune health and get sick. Also, bodybuilding improves blood circulation. It strengthens your heart and lungs, but it also helps build up vessel walls. This makes it easier for nutrients and antibodies to easily travel throughout your body fighting colds, flu, infection, and many other ailments. This means that you can more easily resist colds and flu and you can get well sooner.
Rest is a very important part of bodybuilding over 50 and boosting your immune system. Many of the opponents to bodybuilding claim that it can harm your immune system. However, the fact is that overtraining hurts your immune system, as well as the rest of your body. Those who perform high intensity workouts in short cycles do not give their body adequate rest and are more likely to get sick with longer healing times. This is because they rest only long enough for their body to make minimal muscle repairs. Therefore, the body is forced to focus only on building muscle and must ignore the immune system.
On the other hand, bodybuilders who train at a lower intensity will often state that they have dramatically reduced their number of sick days per year. This is because their training cycle improves the body and gives plenty of time for total body renewal, including the immune system. As you age, your body will require more time for rest and renewal. Ideally, you will want to have a very long exercise cycle that includes at least one day of rest to every day of training.
It is also important that you have a diet that both supports your bodybuilding goals and promotes immune health. You will want to eat plenty of proteins and complex carbohydrates to compliment your training. Also, make sure you include antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your diet or through supplements to give your body an extra boost during training.
No one can totally avoid ever catching a cold or flu. However, you can control how often you suffer and the length of your recovery. If you are over 50 catching the common cold can have serious repercussions. If you want to stay healthy throughout cold and flu season, now is the time to start focusing on fitness.