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05 February 2021
By now, most of you should know that some of the most effective ways to protect yourselves from falling sick is washing your hands frequently, getting enough sleep and exercises, and maintaining a balanced diet to keep your body as healthy as possible.
But did you know that there is also another way to boost your immune system? Yes, it’s regular exercise.
So, how can exercise boost your immune system? Well here’s a few reasons why:
A 2019 scientific review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that regular exercising increases blood and lymph flow which increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and in higher numbers leading to an increased immune system response.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it is found there are links between decreased levels of inflammation to those that exercise more often and have higher fitness levels. This allows the immune system to perform better. While acute inflammation in response to an injury is part of a healthy immune system, chronic inflammation can slow down the immune system.
Stress is well known to bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. However, regular exercising helps to release chemicals in your body that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed thus negating stressful feelings and protecting you from feeling unwell.
Guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthy adults to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activities or moderate exercise weekly like walking, cycling, yoga, or gardening.
"A single bout of resistance training can improve your body’s immune system."
- Journal of Immunology Research
For those looking for more of a sweat, a 2018 study in the Journal of Immunology Research shows that a single bout of resistance training can improve your body’s immune system. Another study from 2018 in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy also linked high-intensity interval training workouts to improved immune function.
However, like all things, balance is key and there is such a thing as too much exercise. So, don’t push yourself too hard lest you injure yourself and all the effort you put in goes to waste. Start small, take a walk, do some jogging and maybe try some running first. A great way to start off is the AIA Vitality Weekly Challenge where you can work out and earn some AIA Vitality Points for more rewards!