With many of the shelter-at-home orders being lifted and people increasing their time outside the house and comingling with others, it's so important that we are proactively boosting our immunity right now. After 2–3 months of isolation, the body's natural response is for the immune system to weaken because it hasn't come in contact with any outside bacteria or viruses. Older adults and their caregivers need to take measures daily to strengthen their immunity as they start getting back to some normalcy.

Here are 10 easy ways to boost your immune system naturally:

Vitamin D: It's proven that Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of our immune system and has a critical role in our body's response to infection. Studies show that over 42% of Americans are deficient, and that can handcuff our immune system. To boost your Vitamin D levels, you can take a daily supplement or increase your intake of fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms, or follow Tip #2!

Get More Sun: When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes Vitamin D from cholesterol. Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in improving your Vitamin D levels. Plus, it's proven that being outside boosts your mood!

Zinc: This mineral is needed for immune cell development and plays an important role in our body's inflammatory response. Many cases are showing positive responses in reducing the duration of COVID, other respiratory tract infections, and even the common cold.

Vitamin C: This is one of the most common immunity boosters, and for good reasons, including clearing out old/dead cells to make room for new/healthy ones. You can get Vitamin C by taking a daily supplement or consuming foods like bell peppers, oranges, or broccoli often.

Laugh: Studies show that laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Call an old friend or put on a funny movie and laugh it out!

Probiotics: Every day, we learn that our immune system is directly affected by our gut health. Taking a daily probiotic promotes the production of natural antibodies and positive gut bacteria. You can take a daily probiotic or have a daily serving of foods like yogurt or sauerkraut.

Antioxidants: Daily consumption of antioxidant-rich foods is proven to boost immunity by destroying free radicals and protecting the integrity of cells and tissues in the body. The best way to get your daily intake of antioxidants is to eat the rainbow: berries, leafy greens, beans, beets, and even dark chocolate!

Play in The Dirt: As crazy as it sounds, studies show that the bacteria found in dirt and sand are more potent strains that can survive the digestive tract and get to where they need to go to improve gut health and, in turn, improve immunity. Plant a garden, walk around your yard without shoes or take a stroll along the beach!

Essential Oils: These have been used for thousands of years to improve wellness, and we can speak from our own experience that they can have an incredible effect on boosting immunity if used proactively. Try diffusing cinnamon, lemon, or eucalyptus oil daily. Remember, quality matters!

Exercise: Just 15-30 minutes of light exercise such as walking is known to greatly affect our immune system. It causes an increase in antibodies and white blood cells, which are critical to fighting disease.

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