TRAINER’S TIP – EXERCISE TO IMPROVE IMMUNITY.
If you want to avoid the dangers of the cold and flu season, it’s time to get your body moving. Exercise can have a profound effect on weight loss (even more important for maintaining weight loss) and cardiovascular function, but it also impacts immunity.
How does physical activity improve immunity? While it is not completely understood, researchers have found several factors are related to health improvements observed with a regular exercise program. Exercise can lower stress levels and reduce the excessive production of stress-related hormones that can lead to illness. By increasing blood circulation, antibodies and white blood cells are released at a faster rate to catch foreign intruders before they wreak havoc on the body. Exercise can flush bacteria from the lungs. Plus, an elevated body temperature can inhibit bacterial growth to help the body fight infection.
Individuals that have a sedentary lifestyle benefit most from starting a moderate exercise program. Moderate exercise can include, biking, walking, or swimming daily or a few times each week. If you are already involved in a regular exercise program, do not increase your workout to an extreme level, as this will put too much stress on the body.
Over-exercising can decrease white blood cell production, reduce immune-supportive DHEA levels, and increase cortisol levels. When this happens, the body is more susceptible to infections and exercise recovery is suppressed.
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