Controversy alert! This year has emphasized the importance of proactively managing our health and happiness, especially when it comes to strengthening our body’s natural defenses against illness. While much has been said about preventing the spread of illnesses, there’s been less focus on boosting our immune systems. Today, we’re diving into science-backed information that you can put into action right now.

You’re probably already aware that a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods, low in sugar, is beneficial. Maintaining a steady routine with enough sleep (7-8 hours a night) and managing stress is also crucial for immune health. But here’s where it gets exciting: physical activity plays a significant role, and researchers are unraveling the many reasons why.

  • Lymphatic System Maintenance: Exercise keeps your body’s lymphatic system in motion. This system is integral to your immune function, as it helps white blood cells and antibodies circulate while aiding in waste removal.
  • Bacterial Flush: Being physically active can flush invading bacteria out of your respiratory system, reducing your risk of falling ill.
  • Temperature Elevation: The slight increase in body temperature that comes with vigorous exercise may inhibit bacterial growth, bolstering your body’s defenses.

Additionally, exercise can reduce stress and improve sleep quality, further supporting your immune system.

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits, how can you put this into action? The Journal of Sport and Health Science published a collection of studies last year that shed light on the link between exercise and the immune system:

  • Acute Exercise: Engaging in moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise for less than an hour is a powerful immune booster. This includes activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, workout classes, or quick weightlifting sessions. Incorporating these into your daily routine can work wonders.
  • Avoid Overexertion: On the flip side, excessive exercise, such as what athletes do while preparing for major events, or working out intensely while under a lot of other stressors (e.g., inadequate nutrition, travel, sleep deprivation), can harm your immune system by placing undue stress on it.

In a world where maintaining our health is more crucial than ever, taking charge of your well-being is a proactive choice. Start incorporating regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise into your life, and you’ll be fortifying your immune system against whatever challenges lie ahead. Remember, the power to boost your immunity starts with you, and it begins with a single step—literally!

The takeaway: Definitely exercise most days of the week, but don’t do it too long or too intensely too often.

Make it a great day!

Keith, Michelle & MORE Team