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Over 50? Focus on your health this summer

(BPT) – Fifty may well be the new 30. And even if you don’t look or feel your age, your immune system probably does. The fact is, our ability to fight off certain diseases weakens as we age, making it increasingly important to take personal responsibility for our health. But, the good news is that sun-soaked, slow summer days offer ample healthful opportunities. Try working these tips into your routine to help focus on your health this summer!

1. Get outside

Warm summer days offer the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy some quality time with Mother Nature. Take a walk after dinner. Wake up a little early to spend some pre-crowd time in the park. More time in the sun means more vitamin D, which is vitally important to maintain strong bones. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

2. Get moving

Summer is a great time to get moving—particularly since the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week for older adults! This summer, make a point to take a long walk or hop on a bike—a couple of the activities that Americans 50-plus enjoy more during summer than other seasons throughout the year, according to a new survey sponsored by Pfizer.

3. Eat more fresh foods

In addition to offering essential vitamins and minerals, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and may even reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer. The good news is that these wonder foods are bountiful in the summer as there are more than 8,300 farmers markets across the United States. Find one near you and load up. You won’t believe how delicious local produce can taste.

4. Relax

Chronic stress leaves us more prone to infections, like a cold or the flu, so managing stress is an important part of maintaining your health. Thankfully, summer is a great time to kick off your shoes, grab a book and hit the hammock. Do yourself the healthful favor of taking the time to just chill out.

5. Don’t forget about infectious disease prevention

You may be one of the 77 percent of Americans 50-plus who agreed in a Pfizer-sponsored survey that infectious disease is the last thing on their mind during the summer. But serious, vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, like pneumococcal pneumonia, can strike at any time of year—even during summer. So if you’re 50-plus, take a few minutes this summer to talk to your doctor to see if you are up-to-date on your vaccinations. Visit www.WhoIsAtRisk.com to learn more.

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