Secret Tricks to Staying Healthy After 60
After 60, our bodies start to show signs of aging, but that doesn't mean we can't stay healthy. With a few lifestyle changes we can prevent certain ailments from taking place and live a long happy life. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Robert G. Lahita MD, Ph.D. ("Dr. Bob"), Director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph Health and author of the upcoming book Immunity Strong who says, "Beyond avoiding excessive negative behavior, there are positive ways to mitigate the aging process and manage your immune system: getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy biome, exercising, and sustaining sexual health. Read his five tips for staying healthy after 60—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Have Sex Once a Week
Maintaining a healthy sex life is something after 60 is something Dr. Bob highly recommends. He explains, "Sexual relations and all socialization is essential to immunity. There is plenty of evidence going back decades that having sex affects all aspects of human life and a vigorous sex life is good for your biological soul. People who have had more sex (without resulting in sexually transmitted diseases or viruses) have more mucosal IgA antibody and fewer sick days at work. Sexual arousal and orgasm also induce an increase in what are called sympathetic activities of the nervous system as well as the enhancement of catecholamine, a hormone made by your adrenal glands that acts as a neurotransmitter and helps you respond to stress, as well as increasing amounts of the hormone prolactin, an immune stimulant from the pituitary gland in blood plasma."
Manage Your Stress Levels
Dr. Bob says, "The difference between us and an antelope running from a lion is that the antelope's stress is momentary. An antelope doesn't have time to worry, whereas we worry for long periods of time. This worry can make you sick and chronic stress can have distinct effects on your immune system. Most of us will never suffer from PTSD, but experienced early in life, stress can cause long-lasting changes in physiology and behavior. Stress lowers our immune system's resistance and opens us up to various infections through immunosuppression, specifically through increased corticosteroids, which are potent immunosuppressants. The biological reason for this immunosuppression is the influence of the nervous and endocrine systems on the immune system that leads to inflammation, a condition that results in pain, fever, redness, and feelings of being unwell accompanied by loss of appetite, excessive fatigue and/or sleeplessness."
Don't Snooze on Sleep
According to Dr. Bob, "Lack of sleep can be devastating to your mind and biological soul. I suggest getting around seven hours of sleep each night. Data going back decades have shown that sleep is critical to good health. When it comes to immunity, we now know lack of sleep enhances immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and that the sleep cycle is of particular importance to proper immune homeostasis. Resistance to infection is also a major aspect of the lack of sleep."
Snack on Veggies
We all know eating healthy keeps us feeling good and Dr. Bob explains why eating the right veggies is so important. "The food you eat and the drugs you ingest—such as the in-discriminate use of antibiotics to treat nonexistent bacterial infections like the common cold—can alter your biomes and change your immune responses to many things, including vaccines, which are not as effective in those with altered biomes. "You are what you eat" is an expression usually deployed as an insult—a joke made at the expense of others about their diets by those asserting their healthy diets and fitness. But it's no joke. What you eat has major effects on you, something the originator of the phrase, the renowned nineteenth-century French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in Physiology of Taste, under-stood when he wrote: "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." Eat three light meals daily, with lots of veggies included!"
Don't Forget Your Fitness
To stay healthy after 60, Dr. Bob suggests staying active. "Exercise is of particular importance as we age. Remember: It does not mean running marathons or Spartan races. It needs to be a daily effort to work the body in favor of the biological soul—to let go, relax the brain, stress the body in a good way, and luxuriate in the flow of hormones, endorphins, and cytokines. I recommend moderate exercise like walking or running, and yoga is also a great option!" So keep up your fitness, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.