How Exercise Boosts Your Immune System
“When it comes to health and wellbeing, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.” - Tich Nhat Hanh
Exercise has many proven health benefits, from improving your memory and reducing feelings of anxiety and depression to weight management and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. That’s not all though - it turns out that another perk of exercise is that it boosts your immune system. Although exercise immunology is still a relatively new study, much research suggests that it is valid. So how does exercise boost your immune system?
Good blood circulation is good virus protection
Good circulation allows the white blood cells in your immune system to be transported around your body as they’re needed, helping you fight off potential infections and diseases. In comparison, poor blood flow can lead to a variety of health risks. Regular cardiovascular exercise not only improves your circulation, but it also keeps your heart in good shape.
Exercise promotes happy hormones - reducing stress levels
High stress levels can lead to a reduced immune system because your body is too busy focusing its energy elsewhere, so it has just can’t fight off antigens as well as it ordinarily could. Under stress, your body also struggles to produce white blood cells, which help fight off infection, so everything adds up and has an impact on your immune system.
Exercise helps reduce these stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which not only promotes a stronger immune system, it will also lead to you having a longer life. On top of all of these great benefits, fitness and just general movement - so it can be as little as going out for a walk - trigger your body’s production of endorphins, which boosts your mood and also acts as a natural painkiller!
Breathing deeply trains your lungs to be strong
Maintaining healthy lungs is essential to keeping the rest of your body in good shape. When you exercise, your breathing rate increases, leading to a better oxygen supply to your muscles. This increased circulation helps the body remove excess carbon dioxide that is produced when you’re exercising. It also helps get rid of any bacteria that may be in your lungs and airways, thereby decreasing your chance of getting colds, flus or COVID-19.
Regular exercise also helps increase your lung capacity over time, which naturally improves your blood flow, and we now know how important good circulation is when it comes to battling unwanted bacteria!
Fitness helps with inflammation
Inflammation is a crucial part of your immune system’s defenses. It is your body’s way of signaling to the immune system to either heal damaged tissue caused by injury (acute inflammation) or defend itself against viruses and bacteria (chronic inflammation).
Chronic inflammation can slow the immune system down and have long-term effects contributing to the development of many diseases. However, moderate exercise sessions have been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, which can reduce the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease or strokes.
Exercise keeps you healthy - it’s that simple
Even in small bouts, exercise has an incredible effect on your body and mind’s overall long-term health. It shouldn’t only be done to lose weight or increase your fitness but as a daily activity built into your routine for the sake of your longevity.
You only have one body to take you through this lifetime, so keeping it fit and healthy, needs to be at the top of your priority list at all times. Nothing matters more. That’s why here at Gifted we make promoting exercise easy in the workplace. We have a whole range of simple-to-send gift cards with lots of fantastic fitness options, such as Nike, REI, Callaway, Champs Sport, Athleta, Columbia Sportswear and even, Bass Pro Shops to keep your employees, colleagues and clients in great health, for a very long time to come.