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Enjoy the Link Between Exercise And Immune Health

In warmer weather we are more likely to experience the link between exercise and immune health. Many of us are enjoying the outdoors, soaking up the sunshine and overall being more active. Have you ever wondered why it is during the summer months many of us are healthier? We all have been around family and friends who are very active throughout the year and realized that they do not get sick as often. The reason for this is exercise.

Studies have shown the power of exercise and the relationship that it has with our immunity. But the question does remain, how does exercise truly make a difference on our immune health.

Functions Of The Immune System

exercise and immune health outdoors
Photographer: Arifur Rahman | Source: Unsplash

The immune system is large and complex and has a wide variety of functions. The main role of the immune system is to defend people against germs and microorganisms. Studies have found that infections or illness are more prevalent in those who consume an unhealthy diet, stressed, and have insufficient sleep. Researchers are constantly making new discoveries by studying the immune system. There are several factors which influence or affect the daily functioning of the immune system: age, gender, eating habits, medical status, and fitness level.

The role of exercise

Research has shown that exercise causes antibodies and white blood cells (WBC) to change in a positive way, which is very important. WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. Physical activity can even assist in flushing the bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Working all the muscles of your body will promote good circulation, which will allow the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Lastly, exercise improves the immune system by lowering the inflammation throughout the body.

Inflammation plays a major role in a person’s health and decreasing the amount throughout the body will decrease the well-known illnesses associated with inflammation, these include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. With all the different ways that exercise improves immune health, overall, it may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illnesses.

The Link Between Exercise And Immune Health

Exercise has a correlation with aging. Everyone wants to stay young and feel young and exercise may be part of that equation. As we age our immune function is not as efficient wh ich increases the risk of infection and autoimmune diseases. Exercise can help the immune system find pathogens, which throughout time regular exercise will slow down changes that happen to the immune system with aging, therefore reducing the risk of infections.

When many people think of exercise, they think of body builders, the people who are at the gym for hours at a time, high intensity workouts, but this is not the case. Researchers have found that regular, moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, or cycling, aiming for 150 minutes per week, is enough to improve your immune system.

Variety is Healthy

For some, exercising does not sound like fun, but it can be. It is always a good idea to have a variety of workouts. This includes going to the park, playing a sport, dancing, swimming, the list goes on. This will not only keep you interested but you will be working different muscles and systems throughout the body as well. Exercise is not about weight loss. When you see fit people in the gym, the thought may cross your mind, “Why are they here? They do not need to lose weight.” This is the wrong mindset to have! Think exercise and immune health! Exercising is not about losing weight is about keeping your body active and keeping your immune system strong. Doing some type of workout daily just for 30 minutes, can truly make a difference and with summer here, now is the time to make a lifelong change.

Who is ready to get moving? Take the time to get active, to improve and strengthen your immune system. Your health will thank you. For more information please listen to our podcasts, Increasing Flexibility & Mobility In Your Everyday Routine, How You Can Build Strength And Healthy Muscles At Any Age and Fitness Meals for before and after your workouts.

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