Exercise and the Immune System

By Sara Hodson

If you are on the road to a healthier version of yourself, you have most likely made changes to your diet and your workouts. Better health can also boost the function of your immune system-  it is better able to heal and repair the body when you are rested and fed healthy nutrients. The immune system is a powerful vessel in your body. Check out these facts about the immune system and how well it works while you treat it properly with exercise and healthy living.

Fighting the Common Cold

Studies have shown that individuals who exercise may be less likely to develop a common cold or, if they develop a cold, they will have a better defense to fight it. Research suggests the immune system has a better microbial defense mechanism in bodies that exercise on a regular basis.

Fewer Symptoms of Congestion

During winter and allergy seasons, you may feel congested frequently. It can be hard to stay motivated to exercise when you feel miserable with nasal symptoms. But if these symptoms last for months, your routine will be off and that can be frustrating when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

If you are without fever or other systemic symptoms, mild exercise can open the nasal passageways. Research has shown that the immune system can benefit from mild exercise and relieve congestion if the symptoms are just in the head and neck. Exercising indoors should be considered to control the external environmental factors.

Eat Your Way to Better Immunity! 

When you exercise your blood is circulating well. This physical activity can help rid the body of bad bacteria in your airways. Thus protecting you and keeping your immune system in check. 

Your immune system is replenished by the food it is given. When you are eating well-balanced foods, including foods that boost a variety in your gut’s microbiome, you are giving yourself a better defense mechanism to fight when germs start circulating.

Goodbye Stress

Stress levels will decrease as your exercise activities increase. Stress causes a multitude of problems: it can cause you to overeat, disrupt your sleep, and decrease your motivation to exercise. Many parts of your life may naturally lead to increases in your stress levels. It is important to find outlets to properly rid your body of stress. 

Exercise slows down the release of your stress hormones. When you are secreting fewer stress hormones, you are already helping your immune system.

If you are already exercising regularly, keep up the great work! Your immune system thanks you and will show it by protecting you with a strong defense mechanism.

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