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My Springtime Immune-System Support Plan

To protect my health in the current crisis, I am taking some additional steps to boost my immune system. Staying healthy helps me to be of service to others.

The immune system is highly complex. I know this firsthand, as when I was 49 I spent the better part of the year in a hospital with a rare autoimmune disorder, which thankfully is no longer an issue for me. But because of that experience, and the current crisis environment we are in, I have taken some additional steps to help my body cope with pathogens.

I take two Basis capsules every morning. Our bodies are a vast collection of cells that need energy to function properly, including our incredible immune cells. NAD+ is essential for energy production in our cells — it also naturally declines with age. Two Basis capsules daily increases and sustains cellular NAD+ levels by an average of 40%.

I Take Basis Because it Works

I recently spoke with the brilliant Leonard Guarente, PhD, a founder of Elysium Health and the company’s Chief Scientist. Since 1982 he has led the Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at MIT, where his research has focused on the genetic and molecular basis of aging.

We here at AGEIST investigate a wide range of exercises, supplements, and diets. There is a lot of very sketchy pseudoscience out there. Basis is not one of these. Dr. Leonard Guarente is the real deal; he is the godfather of the research on the importance of sirtuins and their need for NAD+. You can read more here; it’s fascinating. I take Basis because it works. After a month of taking it, I feel the benefits. Many people in my social circle do the same.

Prioritizing Sleep

I have always prioritized sleep. Perhaps the day is really just a time to prepare for sleeping; that is what Norma Kamali once told me. What is certainly true is that immune function is reduced if one is not getting enough sleep. This means that I only allow myself a single espresso in the morning and no additional caffeine during the day. No more afternoon green tea and no more chocolate after 12pm.

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Meditating

Dr. Ruth Zimmer, among others, has told me that meditation also has a positive effect on immune response. Since I am spending a lot more time at home these days, it was easy to increase my time to 30 minutes each morning from 20 minutes. I like to use an app for this. There are many of them; I prefer one that is a simple timer with gong sounds every couple of minutes to help keep my mind from wandering.

Exercising

My exercise routine has also been adjusted. I have always been a believer that some stress on the body is a good thing, otherwise we atrophy. The trick is to get just the right amount of stress with the right frequency. The risk for people our age is the recovery period is longer and the possibility of overtraining is greater. I have reduced my High Intensity Interval Training to a single 15-minute period per week. I am now walking, if allowed to, about an hour every night. I find this to be de-stressing.

Deadlifts have been eliminated for the time being. They are the single most impactful exercise one can do as they involve pretty much every muscle and joint in the body. A deadlift is when the weightlifting bar is picked up off the floor with one’s arms in a straight down position. Previously, I would do 5 reps of very heavy weight once a week. That was how long it took my body to recover from the stress. Now I don’t do any. I am doing a range of other leg and glute exercises — not as much fun as the deadlift but easier to recover from. People can mistake a high level of fitness for a high level of immune function. They are not the same. Right now, my focus is on immune function.

Health Is a Social Responsibility

It is important to keep in mind why we need to stay healthy. It is not just for us. We want to be useful, to be helpful to those around us. If we are sick, not only can we not be useful, we are a danger to others. We are all part of some community, and health is a personal priority and additionally a social responsibility.

 It would be great to learn what other people are doing to maximize their immune system. Give me a shout on email or hit us up in the comments.

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David Stewart
David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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