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Exercise & Immunity


Exercise & Immunity

In my last newsletter I talked about nutrition and immunity. We now know that what you eat (supplements included) can have a significant effect in how your body's immune system responds. EXERCISE is another thing you can do to boost your body's immune system. Exercise is of particular interest to me as it was my initial field of study in college where I earned a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics.

The field of study of exercise and immune function is not new, but it has taken off by leaps and bounds in the past 30 years.  Most people will intuitively know that exercise leads to decrease weight, but it doesn't stop just there. If you exercise regularly and you lose weight, you will also have a decreased chance of having type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and loss of cognitive function. It is your immune system that mediates all of this.

I came across a fantastic article on Sciencedirect.com out of the Journal of Sports and Health Science that reviewed years of data on exercise and it's particular effect on the immune system. I will share some of the highlights below. Click on the link above to read full research paper and findings. I hope you enjoy.


KEY FINDINGS

  • Acute exercise is an immune system adjuvant that improves defense activity and metabolic health.
  • Data support a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and illness risk.  
  • Exercise training has an anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways.
  • Illness risk is increased in athletes during periods of intensified training and competition.
  • Increased carbohydrate and polyphenol intake is an effective nutritional strategy for immune support.
  • Habitual exercise improves immune regulation, delaying the onset of age-related dysfunction.
BELOW IS A NICE CHART FROM THE STUDY BREAKING DOWN THE EFFECTS. (same as above but in chart form)
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According to this study, "Each bout of moderate physical activity promotes improved but transient immunosurveillance (Immune surveillance is a natural physiologic function to allow recognition and destruction of transformed cells before they grow into tumors, and to kill tumors after they are formed) and, when repeated on a regular basis, confers multiple health benefits including decreased illness incidence and dampened systemic inflammation."

The study did have one interesting finding. After long intense bouts of exercise such as running a marathon, there was a 12-18% increased chance of getting ill. If you think about it, it makes sense that if you exercise to the point where you tax your body so much, your defenses seem to drop a bit while it rebuilds itself. So in essence, if you want to have increased immunity from exercise, don't run a marathon a day

The whole point of this is EXERCISE is one more thing you can do to improve your overall health and immunity. If you have questions about what type of exercise is right for you, or if you would like us to design a program for you to do at home don't hesitate to contact our office.

Next I will be talking about the benefits of BREATH WORK and COLD EXPOSURE. Stay tuned.
 

Please be safe during this trying times.
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