One of the most discussed topics right now is immunity, specifically how to build your immunity to ward off illnesses like the Coronavirus. This is an important conversation to have, not just during a pandemic, but also during times of the year when colds and the flu run rampant. Some great ways to build your immune system include taking vitamins, making wise choices when it comes to food, and exercising.
Research has indicated that even a single workout can have a positive impact on your immune system and help your body fight off germs. However, it’s important to note that too much exercise can have a negative impact on your immune system. This is why it’s important to practice moderate exercise, especially during times when viruses or flu season is prominent.
It’s important to understand why and how exercise can affect your immune system. If you partake in heavy exercise, like a marathon for example, this increases both cortisol and adrenaline in your body, both of which are known as stress hormones. These stress hormones raise your blood pressure and cholesterol and also suppress your immune system.
For this reason, it’s ideal to reduce high-endurance training and workouts during times when you are trying to boost your immune system or when you’re feeling under the weather.
While heavy exercise can have an adverse impact on your health, moderate exercise can be very helpful for building your immunity up. Research indicates that those who partake in regular, moderate exercise experienced substantial health benefits to their immune systems over the long-term, and that people who walked 40 minutes per day were found to experience half as many sick days as those who didn’t exercise at all.
More recent studies have shown that there are physiological changes in the immune system as a response to exercise. During moderate exercise, immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. After exercise ends, the immune system generally returns to normal within a few hours, but consistent, regular exercise seems to make these changes a bit more long-lasting.
When you engage in physical activity that causes you to sustain an elevated heart rate your body interprets it as a type of physiological stressor. This causes your body to deploy certain types of white blood cells (like neutrophils and lymphocytes) from different parts of your body to flood your bloodstream. Any pathogens in your body during this time are found and destroyed during this process.
Post-workout, your immune cells will begin to decline in your bloodstream and drop below resting levels. During this time cells are moving throughout other parts of your body like the lungs, intestines, and even skin to continue a process called “immune surveillance”. This boost to your immune system lasts approximately 3 hours. However, keep in mind that it occurs every time you work out, so if you continue to work out regularly you will begin to see lasting effects on your immune system as you get more frequent immunity boosts.
If you’re looking to exercise more and include immune boosting exercises in to your fitness routine, consider the following workouts:
Remember that the goal is to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, it is not to do a high-endurance workout.
At Expert Fitness Supply we are committed to helping our customers get into better shape, improve their health, and meet their fitness goals. Our customer service team can assist you in picking out fitness equipment for your home gym that is right for your individual needs. We take pride in providing personalized assistance, to ensure your satisfaction.