Exercise to Strengthen Your Immune System

Taking a walk and strength training, can have a positive impact on your immune system. A strong immune system is able to detect and fight off viruses. If you already exercise regularly, you may have noticed you get sick less often than others. While the science is not definitive, theories suggest an immune boost from exercise.

  • Your immune system naturally ages as you do. Studies show that you can slow this aging with exercise. Immune cells are created by muscles. Maintaining or growing your muscles means more immune cells.
  • Increased respiration, during exercise, may flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, possibly reducing chances of contracting a cold, the flu, or other illnesses. (it’s best to exercise in a clean air environment)
  • The rise in your body temperature, during exercise, may prevent bacteria from growing and help you fight infection.
  • White blood cells and antibodies, that help fight infection, disease, and foreign invaders, move more rapidly during exercise. This may make them more effective at fighting off illness.
  • Exercise lowers your levels of inflammatory cytokines that cause diseases like Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer.
  • Exercise reduces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Stress hormones can weaken your immune system.

Maintaining your current exercise, or beginning an easy exercise routine may help strengthen your immune system.

  • If possible, get outside for a moderate walk or run, maintaining social distancing guidelines. Exercise with your “quaranteam” to ensure everyone gets moving.
  • Exercise 3-5 days a week, for 20-45 minutes. Mix it up with cardio, strength and flexibility training. Check out the Rolling Strong workouts in the app.
  • Utilize one of the many free online exercise classes currently available.
  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after outdoor exercise.

Your efforts towards fitness will pay benefits over time as you fight off sickness, disease, and combat the effects of aging.

by Christy Coughlin