Support your Immune System through exercise

by Matt Elphick

Exercise is a key factor in living a long healthy life.  New research shows it can improve immune function and reduce risk of severe complications from illness, including the flu and other viruses like COVID19.

Plenty of research shows that we have become more sedentary especially those in lockdown.  Whilst it might be challenging for you if your gym is closed, there are plenty of ways to train so that you can protect yourself from illness.

In this article we will explain why exercise is so important for your immune system and share our TOP tips with you.

How you can support your immune system through exercise.

Physical activity elevates your immune system by improving the body’s natural antioxidant system.  Studies show that those who exercise tend to suffer fewer infections than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Research done by the University of Virginia, showed that people who exercised regularly had lower risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with COVID 19.

Exercise raises levels of antioxidant (superoxide dismutase) in our body that is protective against viruses.  The potent antioxidant protects our tissues from harmful free radicals and help prevent disease.

SOD is protective against several other chronic diseases as well, such as acute lunge disease, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney failure.

What type of exercise should I do to support my Immune system?

Both aerobic and strength training are certain to support the immune system.  Strength training reduces risk of underlying diseases that put you at risk of illness, such as insulin resistance and obesity.  Additionally, muscle is protective against death, providing the body with a reservoir when things go wrong.  muscle mass is consistently linked with longevity, especially in people with cancer and other chronic diseases.

Workout Tips for Immune support

1. Do SMART Cardio

Experts recommend that 30 minutes of moderate intensity training daily will raise SOD and promote general fitness.  Brisk walking or biking are great options.  Hiking in nature, especially at the moment where so many of us are stuck indoors lacking our Vitamin D intake!

Interval training is also an option that will raise antioxidants and promote fitness.

2. Prioritize Strength Training

Strength training is important to maintain muscle, while minimising the stress response that makes you susceptible to illness.  If you are unable to attend a gym, you can still workout at home using kettlebells, dumbbells and resistance bands.  If you still have the option to get to the gym then do so, it’s a great opportunity to support your immune system.

3.  Use Mind Body exercise

Exercise that requires you to get your body in tune with your mind can also support your immune system.  Yoga has shown to improve immune markers in the blood.  Other mind body practices what will likely convey iummune benefits include most martial arts, deep breathing, foam rolling, stretching and dancing.

It’s time to get off your couch and get active!!!

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