How Can You Improve Your Immune System?

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Our immune systems do an incredible job of protecting us against disease and infection. You may be wondering how you can naturally boost your immune system to better defend against illness. There are several lifestyle factors that we can work on including diet, managing stress, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise. To learn more about how exercise can boost your immune system, keep reading!

Exercise can help

We know that exercise can help us feel better physically and emotionally and that it can decrease our risk of certain diseases like diabetes and heart disease. But what about increasing our immunity? Moderate exercise has been shown to boost the immune system and even boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems. How does exercise benefit immunity?

  • Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.

  • Exercise causes our white blood cells (immune cells) to circulate throughout the body more rapidly, helping them detect illness earlier.

  • Exercise causes a brief rise in body temperature that can prevent bacteria from growing. Higher body temperature helps our bodies fight infection better, similar to what happens with a fever.

  • Exercise slows the release of stress hormones in the body and lower stress hormones may protect against illness.

What type of exercise is best? According to ACSM, whole-body dynamic cardiorespiratory exercise instantly mobilizes billions of immune cells that are capable of recognizing and killing virus-infected cells. While even just a single session has been shown to have immune system benefits, regular moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes per week is best. Some examples of moderate-intensity exercise include brisk walking, light hiking, jogging, biking, and exercise classes. Trying to work in regular exercise is especially important when working from home where it can be more challenging to get regular movement.

As you’re working from home and practicing good COVID-19 etiquette like social distancing and washing your hands, please don’t forget to move! In an effort to keep us all moving and staying connected to our community, Integrated Fitness is stepping up to add unlimited Live stream classes. Not only will your favorite Integrated Fitness trainers be right there with you in your living room, you will also be experiencing the class in real-time with other class participants.

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