Exercise helps decrease your chances of developing heart disease and keeps your bones healthy and strong. But to what extent can exercise help increase your immunity to certain illnesses? There are several theories including:
· Physical activity helps to flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways reducing your chance of getting a cold, flu or other airborne illnesses
· Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells making them circulate more rapidly so that illnesses can be detected earlier. But these these changes may not help prevent infections
· The short rise in body temperature during and after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing – and, as a result, help the body fight infection more effectively… just like when you have a fever
Exercise slows down the release of stress-related hormones with lower stress hormones protecting you against illness
While there may not be strong evidence to prove that exercising – along with taking immune supplements – lowers the chance of illness or infection, going one step further and making changes in a number of areas of your life is sure to reap benefits.
With regular exercise being one pillar to a healthy lifestyle since it improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight and protects against various diseases, can it help you maintain a healthy immune system?
Logic says that, like a healthy diet, if exercise contributes to general good health, it contributes to a healthy immune system by promoting good circulation which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and work efficiently.
Along with this, exercise promotes a positive mental state and outlook which, some studies conclude, is the best defence against illness.