The Connection Between Exercise and A Healthy Immune System
Your immune system’s primary objective is protecting your body from infections and viruses.
However, you can’t count on staying strong without putting in a little effort. Your immune system can weaken due to several factors, including chronic stress, inflammation, and malnourishment.
Fortunately, there are several ways to boost your immune system, including exercising.
How Exercise Impacts Your Immune System
We often think about exercise as it relates to weight loss. However, it’s also vital for your overall health because it impacts your immune system in the following ways.
1. Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation contributes to many chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. Exercising regularly can reduce inflammation, thereby helping the immune system perform as it should.
2. Improves immune cell circulation
Scientists have found that getting moderate activity for 60 minutes or less per day leads to improved circulation of immune cells, which may help people ward off illnesses like the common cold or flu.
3. Temporarily increases body temperature
Researchers have found that an elevated body temperature can help certain immune cells function better. After a good sweat sesh, your body temperature is temporarily elevated, similar to when you have a fever. So, your immune cells will get a boost every time you work out.
3 Best Immune-Boosting Exercises
So, what are the best exercises for improving your immune system? Of course, any activity will benefit your mind and body, so find something that you enjoy and can consistently stick to.
If you’re serious about getting some immune-boosting benefits from your workout, here are the three best immune-building exercises.
1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Performed as quick bursts of high-intensity movements, HIIT training gets your heart racing in a short amount of time. However, only do HIIT a few times a week. Going too hard for too long can actually have adverse effects on your immune system.
2. Strength training
Weightlifting isn’t just for bodybuilders. Everyone can benefit from strength training to build muscle and improve bone health. In addition, pushing your body with weights increases blood circulation, which significantly impacts your immune system. For best results, give yourself at least a day in between sessions so your muscles can repair themselves.
Getting out for a short walk around the neighborhood can reduce your chances of getting the flu and other illnesses. Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. If you’re short on time, though, a quick walk is better than no walk.
Don’t Forget to Stretch!
Stretching is an essential part of every workout, no matter the intensity. In addition to cooling down your muscles, stretching can help boost your immune system by improving blood flow to increase oxygen production and circulation. Best of all, you can do it anywhere and at any time.
Book an appointment with StretchSPOT for some stretch therapy that targets your specific needs. Learn the best stretches for your body to improve blood flow, relieve tension, and feel better all over.