The positive effects of exercise on physical and mental well-being are widely known. What about the ability to resist more common diseases like the flu or the common cold? Exercise can also increase immune function and help us resist these conditions. In this article we will help to answer the question, can exercise boost your immune system?
Exercise Has Health Benefits
Exercise is a key component in maintaining good cardiovascular, lung, bone, and muscular health. Exercise can also help with the prevention and management of many non-communicable conditions, such as stroke, type II diabetes, and asthma. Exercise is also a great way to manage your mental health and mood. This happens through many pathways, including increased levels of endorphins, or “feel-good hormones”, such as serotonin and dopamine, which all play a significant role in controlling your mood. Exercise can also reduce stress hormones like cortisol, making you more positive and able to conquer the world.
So, what about Exercise To Immunity?
Recent research has focused on the effects of exercise on immune function and decreasing one’s chance of becoming sick. This is an area of ongoing research. However, recent studies show that moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise can increase the recruitment and secretion of a variety of proteins and substances like immunoglobulin and anti-inflammatory cytokines. These are both involved in enhancing metabolic health and immune function.
Consistency Is Also Important!
Regular exercise is beneficial for your health throughout your life. Slow immune function decline along with the inevitable changes associated with aging, can also reduce the chance of getting sick.
Getting Enough Exercise
According to the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should be engaging in at least thirty minutes of exercise per day. This includes 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity and 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. Brisk walking, biking, cycling, swimming, Pilates, and yoga are all examples of moderate-intensity activity. Heavy weightlifting, running and bike riding at a faster speed, HIIT type exercises, and spin classes are all examples of intense exercise. It is recommended to strengthen exercise at least twice per week and to limit sedentary time to not more than an hour.
Senior adults, defined as those aged 65 and over, are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, but preferably on all days. You should include aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance activities.
Children are advised to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Children should limit their sedentary hours to no more than two hours per day. They are encouraged to also break up their sedentary times throughout the day. Guidelines recommend that children aged 5-13 years get 9-11 hours of sleep each night, while those aged 14-17 years should get 8-10 hours uninterrupted sleep each night.
But How Much Is Too Much?
Many people believe that exercise can cause a decline in immune function and increase their risk of developing diseases. Research has proven that this is not true.
There is a sweet spot in exercise and immunity. It is true that there seems to be a limit to the amount and duration of exercise. We won’t be able to exercise too much for most people.
Research has shown that the immune function suppressing load is only found in elite athletes who are engaged in intense training blocks, where they engage in vigorous-intensity activity for long periods of time. This often occurs in conjunction with multiple competitions. This is often combined with other beliefs that other factors could contribute to immune suppression, including sleep patterns changes, decreased energy intake, travel, and psychological factors.
Now that you know the answer to the question, can exercise boost your immune system. Contact us today to talk to one of our coaches and get into the best shape of your life.