How exercise boosts your immune system
Never has there been more focus on the value of health and our immune system. Covid-19 continues to spread globally and it is important to focus on what you can control to ‘boost’ your immune system.
Taking steps to improve your lifestyle in a way that will strengthen your immune system doesn’t mean this will stop you from getting sick. However, it’s important to focus on what you do have control over during these times and how you can live a healthy lifestyle.
When infections occur, your body puts up it’s defence system. Our immune system is the first line of defense against infection and disease. Although, scientifically there is no way to literally ‘boost’ your immunity, there are certain lifestyle changes you can adopt to maintain a balanced immune system—one that can respond appropriately to infection and heal and repair any damage that may occur in the process. Some guidance is also provided by the Ministry of Health on how to build the immune response to specific infections.
Let’s look at the different components of a healthy lifestyle that can ‘boost’ or strengthen your immunity:
Exercise to support your immune system
To explain the connection between exercise and immunity, we scoured the science and spoke with experts who have studied the effect of exercise on the immune system. Here’s how to make the most of your workouts for your overall health, particularly during a pandemic. People only have a small number of immune cells circulating around the body. Those cells prefer to hang out in lymphoid tissues and organs like the spleen, where your body kills viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause disease.
Because exercise increases blood and lymph flow as your muscles contract, it also increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and at higher numbers. Specifically, exercise helps to recruit highly specialized immune cells—such as natural killer cells and T cells—find pathogens (like viruses) and wipe them out. Another benefit of exercise is that it decreases inflammation in the body—which, in turn, can also improve immunity.
Move your body with fu/nis
When it comes to keeping healthy and boosting your immune system, we’re taking a look at how EMS (electro-muscle stimulation) boosts the immune system, to give you more confidence to try this new form of exercise. It’s a great way to benefit your body, both from the inside as well as out. (Read the article here.)
As well as getting enough exercise and keeping fit, we can also boost our immune system in a variety of ways. When it comes to living a healthy life and boosting your immune system we must look at the overall picture. Here’s a look at some:
Focusing on healthy food choices to help your immune system is one area where you do have control, and this can help you to fight any infection that does make you sick. Nutrition plays a big role in how well our immune system works, so keeping on top of it will help you to stay healthy. Besides protein, fiber and Vitamins A, C, D and E, other essential micronutrients for a healthy immune system include iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Drink plenty of fluids. General good health practices keep your body strong and ready to fend off germs and viruses – and this includes drinking plenty of water. Shoot for eight glasses of water per day, more if you consume caffeinated beverages or have a strenuous shift or call.
Mindset & healthy lifestyle habits for good immunity
IT’s a buzzword these days, meditation. What makes this practice so beneficial to your health? Meditation is all about mindfulness, or being present in the moment and not worrying about the past or the future. Meditation can address a wide range of health concerns by reducing stress, strengthening the immune system, and improving cognitive function. For many people, spending time in the beauty of nature while being hyper-aware of their present surroundings and state of being is one of the most relaxing and recharging “exercise” possible.
Rest & sleep
Sleep is essential for healthy immune function and that insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality is associated with lowered immune function. Ultimately you want to get at least seven to eight hours each night. There is hope for those of us that can’t sleep through the night; recent research shows that napping can boost health and the immune system.
Exercise reduces levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and regular exercise is even more important every day. Aim to get outside to move your body every day, even a walk around the block will help both your body and your headspace.
Take control of your physical and mental health by routinely giving yourself a time-out to be mindful, enjoy nature, and even kick your feet up and recharge. Your mind and body, and maybe even your loved ones, will thank you for it! And what about trying out EMS training to give your body a way to strengthen, boost the immune system and feel great, both inside and out?!
Disclaimer: All content and media on the fu/nis EMS training website is created and published online for informational and inspirational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.