Exercise and Your Immune System

Written by Alessia Cantale, Haberfield Health

Now that we are working at home more frequently due to COVID-19, the emphasis on moving your
body to maintain immunity is more critical than ever.

Exercise is needed for efficient blood flow, for bone health, mental health, mobility & range of
motion, lymph flow and heart health.  Keeping a routine of exercise or outdoor activity will
help provide you with a way to spend time with yourself and/or kids and time to spend
outdoors (if not a gym).

Exercising should be an enjoyable activity! There are different forms of exercising:-
– Yoga, Pilates, golfing, stretching, Tai chi, aerobics class, walking, jogging/ running, gym classes, bike riding, taking hikes and cardio.
– Doing something you find enjoyable is the central area of focus, so you stick to your routine

To maintain your mental health, have a healthy distinguish and balance between motivation, rest, goals, and routine. Excessively pushing yourself will only burn you out more and decrease immunity, so maintaining a healthy balance between physical activity and rest is essential.

What does physical activity do to the body?

Physical activity and movement does the following:-

1. Help circulate blood and lymph, which helps improve circulation. This is how nutrients and oxygen gets transported to every limb, every organ and every part of your body.
2. Sweating helps excrete toxins and bacteria from the body.  This is critical as accumulated toxins and waste in the body lead to congestion, toxic overload and inflammation.  When your body does not eliminate waste effectively, it spreads to other parts of the body and this can result in chronic disease.
3. Increasing heart rate opens airways and helps to oxygenate the body.  Our body needs oxygen to fuel every living process.
4. The release of endorphins helps increase mood, motivation and lower stress hormones. Endorphins can also assist in the relief of pain and offer a sense of well-being.  Research tells us that endorphin levels may be an important factor in symptoms of anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia.

Following an active lifestyle is suitable for a healthier and more energetic body and mind, and it doesn’t need to be done alone!  Take your pet for a walk, go for a run with your partner.  During lockdown, practice caution and follow state health guidelines.  

Alessia Cantale
References:
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm#:~:text=Physical%20activity%20may%20
help%20flush,system%20cells%20that%20fight%20disease.