How To Boost Your Immune System With Exercise

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4 min read

It’s that time of year when we’ve got colds, flu, and, now, COVID 19 going around. You may be taking your vitamins and eating all the right foods, but do you exercise regularly to stay in your best health?

We exercise to improve our physical health, but what if I told you that exercise could also boost your immune system? That’s right! Exercise boosts your immune system, helps your body respond to viruses more quickly, and can even make your body react more efficiently to vaccines.

Regular Exercise Boosts Your Immune System Function

Exercise strengthens us in a lot of ways. When we work out, we get stronger physically and mentally. So, it only makes sense that regular exercise would also strengthen your immune system.

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, so just like maintaining a healthy diet and getting adequate sleep, it contributes to good health and, therefore, a healthy immune system.

More specifically, researchers have found that since exercise increases blood flow, it also increases the circulation of immune cells. Exercise also causes your body to release cytokines, which are crucial in controlling immune cells. This release helps strengthen your immune system, so it’s better prepared to deal with an infection. It also improves immune response by making it quicker and more effective.

It Takes Time To Boost Your Immune System

It’s going to take some time to get the results you want. Having an exercise routine (and sticking to it)  is key to maintaining good health and boosting your immune system.

Overdoing it by doing too much exercise is not going to automatically increase your immunity. Just as you don’t immediately lose body weight when you start exercising for weight loss, your immunity will not significantly improve after working out for the first time.

How much exercise is enough to get these benefits?

Remember that any amount of exercise is better than nothing at all. However, aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week. You can break this up throughout your week to fit your schedule and your pace.

What types of exercise should I be doing?

Any type of exercise boosts your immune system, whether you’re into cardio or strength training. As long as you break a sweat and get your blood flowing, you should activate immune cells.

If I binge my workouts, will I improve my immune function faster?

Don’t get me wrong— exercise is good for you, but too much exercise may hurt you rather than help you. In fact, exercising too much without rest may weaken cellular immunity and harm your ability to fight infection. So, listen to your body and exercise at a pace that’s right for you.

While working out more may not do the trick, you can speed up this process by accompanying physical activity with other healthy habits such as eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and getting plenty of quality sleep.

How long does it take to boost immune responses?

Your immune system will slightly improve immediately after working out. However, it won’t stay strong unless you make exercise a habit.

I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to exercise consistently and frequently. By getting on a solid exercise routine, your improving your immune function along with your overall health.

Work Hard Or Rest Hard?

Your immune system works best when it isn’t under stress, so don’t overdo it. Working out too soon can weaken your immune system, increase your risk of infection, and make it harder for you to recover from whatever sickness you’re dealing with.

Can I exercise with a mild cold?

If you have a mild cold, just listen to your body, and you should be fine. But be cautious if you’ve taken cold medicine, as this can increase your heart rate too much or cause you to have trouble breathing. Also, if you have a fever, exercise will likely put more stress and your body, which would slow down your recovery. So, if this is the case, just give it a few days before easing back into your regular exercise routine.

Can I exercise with flu or COVID 19?

If you have the flu or a bad case of COVID 19, don’t sweat it out. You should take it easy and let your body heal. Be sure you’re back to feeling 100% before you begin working out again.

And, of course, if you’re under quarantine, follow guidelines and stay home!

You Can Exercise While Social Distancing

If you’re trying to limit exposure to COVID 19 or anything else that’s going around, you may choose to exercise at home. There are plenty of at-home workouts out there, but if you don’t have a professional instructor, you don’t have anyone to guide you and help you exercise properly. You also don’t have the accountability that you would at a gym.

Lucky for you, I’ve got a great online at-home workout formula to get you the results you want. Your instructor will give you direction, so you’ll know exactly how to exercise. You’ll also work out with real people who are trying to reach their fitness goals, just like you. Plus, you still get the convenience of an at-home workout since you’re able to work out anytime, anywhere.

Let’s get fit together! 

At McClure Fitness, we’ve got options for you to work out and improve your physical and immune health. Whether you show up to our Benton Gym or take an online class, you can get the results you want.