Immunity has become the buzzword due to the devastating covid 19 pandemic. Many people are scrambling after different solutions to boost their immune systems.
Good sleep, nutritious food, and a stress-free lifestyle are critical to good immunity. But did you know that exercise also boosts immunity?
It is necessary to understand how immunity works. Immunity is “an intricate network of cells, tissues, and organs that band together to defend your body against invaders.” The invaders are harmful pathogens that comprise bacteria, viruses, parasites, even a fungus.
How exercise boosts immunity
Exercising helps in stronger bones and reduced instances of heart diseases. But no one has precisely pinpointed how exercise helps boost immunity. But some theories suggest-
- Physical activity may help reduce common ailments such as cold, flu, and other diseases by flushing out harmful germs from your lungs and airway.
- Exercise may activate the white blood cells (WBC’s) in your body and makes them detect illness earlier.
- A rise in body temperature while exercising may prevent bacterial growth.
- Exercise reduces stress and low-stress levels that may, in turn, boost immunity.
This correlation between exercise and immunity exists even though it’s difficult to pinpoint. Millions of people bank on exercising for a healthy, disease-free life. Moreover, top officials in WHO encourage regular moderate exercise for increased immunity.
When people are clutching at straws, regular exercise provides solace, improves overall health, and may increase immunity. And as a bonus, you can strengthen your bones and cardiovascular system. Here are 5 simple exercises to boost the immune system to help you get started-
In today’s sedentary lifestyle, walking is the classic way to improve your overall health. 30 minutes of walking every day can improve your cardiovascular health, burn fat and strengthen bones.
It also strengthens muscles prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers. The best part is walking is free! And, increased circulation may help flush out germs and activate WBC’s.
Walking is low-impact, can be done at any time and at your own pace. A study in 2007 found that 75 minutes per week of exercise drastically improved fitness levels among inactive women.
The best thing about walking is that it is ideal for overweight people, the elderly and those who have not exercised for a long time.
Cycling is another excellent way to boost your overall health. In addition to having all the benefits of walking, it helps improve posture, coordination, and joint mobility.
This low-impact exercise is ideal for all age groups. You can even fit it into your daily routine by cycling to work or shopping. This fun activity is a one-stop solution for transport, recreation, and sport.
For those days when you can’t leave home, consider using an exercise bike. The best fan bike or an elliptical typically lasts a long time and gives you all the benefits of cycling while putting you more in control of your exercise routine. Additionally, they are easier than riding a conventional bicycle and are great for interval training.
This fun activity involves jumping on a mini fitness trampoline. Rebounding is best for draining your lymphatic system and detoxing your body to help boost immunity. This low-impact exercise can be done indoors and is a great alternative to get your heart pumping.
Rebounding is great for the winter or rainy season and a neat way to break from the monotony of your regular exercise. It helps improve posture, coordination, and joints.
Rebounding helps lift mood by releasing endorphins and is one of the best ways to prepare for the day or wind down afterward.
4. Strength training
As one ages, bone and muscle density reduces. Aging has an overall impact on the quality of life and immunity. One of the best ways to reverse this is through strength training. It involves using additional weights on the muscles to stress them. This causes your muscles to become bigger and stronger over time.
There are various ways that you can do strength training. In most cases, you wouldn’t require costly equipment or go to a gym. Many exercises can be performed by using your body weight.
You can start by doing free squats, pushups, pullups, lunges, planks, etc. You have dozens of YouTube videos to help you begin.
5. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a rage among fitness enthusiasts nowadays. It involves short bouts of intense workouts followed by a rest period for the same time. The workout periods typically last from 20 to 60 seconds. Compared to other forms of exercises that are usually slow and steady, HIIT sessions are strenuous but short.
HIIT gets your heart pumping faster and burns more calories. Moreover, a HIIT session has that afterburn effect that burns calories even hours after you stop working out. Studies reveal that these sessions boost growth hormone production, which repairs brain and muscle tissues, boosts metabolism, and aids in fat loss*.
However, you need to build your base fitness levels with light strength training and walking before attempting HIIT. Once you start doing it regularly, you’ll notice a real change in your overall health and fitness in a very short time.
Some parting thoughts
As with all types of exercise, you must start slowly and increase your workout over time. If you are a senior person or have existing health conditions, seek your doctor’s advice before undertaking any form of exercise.
It is also essential to pay attention to your dietary and sleep habits. Nutritious food and good sleep patterns help your body recover quickly after strenuous exercise sessions. They go hand in hand to keep you healthy and build a more robust immune system.
It is also critical to know that our body and mind usually resist any lifestyle change. As a result, many people discontinue an exercise regimen after a few weeks. All types of exercise and lifestyle changes require some time for the effects to show.
Stay positive throughout and, in a month or so, you’ll begin noticing the benefits. Over time, the new regimen will become second nature and become so ingrained in your lifestyle that you’ll feel something amiss if you miss an exercise session.