How Exercise Can Boost Your Immune System
With a global pandemic still stirring up trouble, it’s no surprise that more and more people are hoping to improve their immune systems to fight off illness. From routine hand washing to wearing face masks, there are all sorts of things you can do to prevent illness, but still, one of the best options you have for boosting your immune system is regular exercise. Check out some of the evidence below!
Exercise Helps Decrease Inflammation
The less active you are on a daily basis, the more likely you are to experience excess inflammation in your cells and tissues. This inflammation can weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s ability to fight off illnesses. Luckily, regular exercise is known to help reduce inflammation throughout the body to help boost your immune system for better performance. This allows important immune cells to travel more easily to help kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that could eventually cause trouble.
But, keep in mind, you have to work out more than just once to get this benefit, so make sure you’re meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines — 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Luckily, three 9Round workouts per week is more than enough to satisfy these guidelines!
Exercise Helps Lower Stress
Have you ever found yourself getting sick at the end of a really stressful week? This phenomenon is actually more common than you might think because stress has a major impact on our immune systems. When you’re stressed for long periods of time, the body produces cortisol. Cortisol is naturally an anti-inflammatory that stimulates the immune response, but elevated levels of cortisol can cause a reverse effect where your immune system becomes unaffected through an accumulation of stress hormones.
Fortunately, as you probably already know, exercise is a great way to reduce feelings a stress, anxiety, and depression. This is because regular exercise helps balance stress hormones and increases endorphins that provide mood-boosting properties and a potential increase in your immune system — and what better way is there to reduce stress than by punching and kicking your way through a KILLER 9Round workout? (-;
Exercise Improves Your Quality of Sleep
According to the Sleep Foundation, “Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases.”
Similar to how too much stress can cause trouble, too little sleep will also affect your immune system’s ability to fight off illness. If you’re having trouble catching some Z’s at night, then it might be time to give regular exercise a try. Many studies have found that regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster while also improving your overall sleep quality.
However, it’s important to pay attention to the timing of your workouts to get the most sleep benefits, as working out too late in the day could make it harder for you to fall asleep. So, the best option is to listen to your body to know if when you’re working out is helping or hurting your sleep schedule.
A Quick Note on Nutrition
Along with regular exercise, proper nutrition plays an important role in keeping your immune system working at peak performance. For example, certain foods like white bread and pre-packaged meals can increase inflammation while whole foods like lean protein and veggies will help lower inflammation. So, when you’re putting together your new exercise routine to help boost your immune system, don’t forget to throw in some healthy eating habits as well!
Let 9Round help you develop new, healthy lifestyle habits with our KILLER 30-minute workouts and 9Round Nutrition. Try our kickboxing fitness program for FREE by scheduling your Introductory Workout at the link below. We can’t wait to kick it with you soon!
This is not medical advice. Please speak with your doctor regarding any health concerns and before starting a new workout routine. This article was written in conjunction with our certified 9Round Exercise and Nutrition Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC.