Are you an anti-vaxxer that’s protecting your family with organic foods, vitamins, and mineral supplements? You probably think you are doing everything that you can to protect yourself and your family.
But if you aren’t exercising regularly you’re cheating yourself out of one of the most powerful all natural protections against measles and other viral infections.1
Something as simple as a daily walk or a casual game of tennis can be enough to boost your immune system to heights that aren’t achievable with a healthy diet alone.
We don’t know exactly how exercise increases immunity to certain illnesses, but there are several theories.
How Exercise May Help
- Physical activity helps your body circulate antibodies more efficiently. These antibodies are what detect and deter illness.
- Regular exercise reduces your bodies production of cortisol. High levels of cortisol are directly related to immune system deficiencies.2
- Exercise flushes waste products from the lungs and which reduces the risk of infection from airborne illness.
- The rise in core body temperature may prevent bacterial growth, strengthening your immune system to fight off more serious viral infections.
Even better news is that there’s an excuse to not become a habitual over exerciser. It’s been proven that overly vigorous (ultra-marathon runners for example) athletes are more susceptible than moderate exercisers.3 The heavy stress that they put their bodies through can decrease white blood cell counts and increase cortisol as well as other stress related hormones.
Easy Exercises You Can Start Doing Today
The studies have proven that those of us that get the most benefit are the ones that go from a couch potato lifestyle to one that includes activities like these:
- Jogging for 2 hours total in a week
- 3 bike rides a week
- A daily 2o minute walk
- Zumba or other group exercise classes three times a week
- Participating in sports (even golf and leisurely tennis have been shown to be help)
A decent pair of jogging or walking shoes isn’t an expensive investment. You can easily get your kids involved too. Most children love to spend time with their parents and involving them in your exercise routine is a great way to do it. So get the family some tennis rackets or inexpensive bikes and play together. Your immune systems will thank you.
1. Woods JA. Exercise, inflammation, and innate immunity. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2009;29(2):381-393.
2. Segerstrom SC and Miller GE, Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System. Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul; 130(4): 601–630.
3. Rice University, Exercise, upper respitory infections, and fatigue http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/fatigue.html