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Can we Boost our Immune System?
Immune health is a topic on a lot of people’s lips at the moment and for very good reason. On the whole, our immune system does a remarkable job of defending us against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes us sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost our immune system?
What if we improve our diet? Get adequate sleep? Reduce stress? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
The idea of boosting our immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has somewhat proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that - a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony – in all of the above areas, not just one approach.
As mentioned above, there are certain things we can do to give us a fighting chance and exercise is just ONE of them.
Below are two ways that exercise can help boost your immune system:
- Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. Exercise releases millions of WBCs into your blood stream. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, and so may detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections. (A word of caution: high volume training coupled with high intensity training may depress immunity.)
- Certain stress may increase the chance of illness. However exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness - a repetitive cycle you could say.
There you have it… even more reason to begin, level up, or carry on with exercising… find an exercise you enjoy that you’ll keep at! If you need help in this regard, simply reach out.