It’s widely known that regular exercise is important to both mental and cardiovascular health.
Exercise can help strengthen bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, assist in weight loss, and help protect you from many diseases.
However, did you know that exercise also plays an important role in immune health?
Researchers at the University of California - San Diego found that exercise has anti-inflammatory effects which can help reduce the pain from such conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Regular exercising as little as 20 minutes a day can naturally optimize your immune system and maintain overall body (and spirit) health.
Does Exercise Help the Immune System?
You may be wondering, “Does exercise really help our immune system?”
The answer is, “Yes, absolutely!”
If you are looking for easy and inexpensive solutions for boosting your immune system, exercise and diet should be at the top of your list. Learn more about how diet complements exercise to boost immune system health.
Exercise and Your Immune System
Moderate physical activity seems to enhance immunity and lessen the risk of infection. However, there are a few things to keep in mind for optimal effects.
Importance of Nasal Breathing
Nasal breathing throughout moderate levels of exercise can increase our lung capacity. It also helps reduce and expel mucus - a key place where bacteria, dust, and viruses may become trapped and cause irritation and infections.
Essentially, nasal breathing while exercising regularly helps “flush” out our lungs. This makes them less hospitable to bacteria and viruses.
Watch Your White Blood Cell Count
Exercise also affects your white blood cells (the body’s immune system cells) in a way that helps your body better fight disease and infection.
When you engage in exercise, your white blood cells (WBC) increase in production and begin to circulate throughout your body more actively. If you exercise regularly at a moderate pace, this increased WBC activity can boost your ability to fight bacterial and viral infections
How to Use Exercise to Boost Your Immune System
There is such a thing as too much exercise when it comes to our immune system.
Those who participate in extremely physically challenging activities - like marathon running or heavy weightlifting - can actually lower their WBC count over time. These types of strenuous activities can also increase levels of harmful stress hormones which have an adverse effect on your immune system health.
If you’re a heavy exerciser, discuss your routine with your doctor. You can also explore other immune boosting alternatives and natural supplements. Dietary changes and dietary supplements - like pine cone extract - may help counterbalance your immune-punishing exercise routine.
Other Immune System Health Factors
No matter how much you exercise or in what ways, exercise is not the be-all-end-all solution to boosting your immune system. There are other important holistic health considerations as well.
The importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle choices (like eliminating unhealthy habits, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress) all profoundly impact your body’s overall immunity and susceptibility to disease.