Does Exercise Boost the Immune System?

Does exercise boost the immune system? A recent study said that it only takes 20 minutes of exercise to potentially give your immune system a boost. Serious exercisers may think that spending 20 minutes of moderate physical activity is more like a warm-up than an exercise period.

Researchers have said that 20 minutes of whatever the best exercise routine for you is, may be enough to jump-start the anti-inflammatory activity of the immune system.

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Taking the time to engage in moderate exercise may deliver a host of health benefits. It helps a person potentially gain better prevention and may help better control diabetes and hypertension. Exercise may also reduce the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression.

It also may help prevent the early onset of the signs of premature aging. Researchers say that maintaining a moderate but regular exercise regimen might help lengthen a person’s lifespan by up to ten years.


Does Exercise Boost the Immune System? A Deeper Look

Exercise may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. An increase in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system might result in increased breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. While all these things are taking place inside the body, the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine may also be released.

Consequently, an increase in the amount of these hormones in the bloodstream may result in the suppression of cytokines such as TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor).

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These cytokines may be pro-inflammatory and an excess may lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. People who have multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia are usually found to have potentially high levels of TNF in the blood.

While exercising, cells that play a role in promoting immunity may be released all throughout the body. These cells, called macrophages, are capable of destroying disease-causing microorganisms.

Exercising also may lead to an increase in body temperature. This may prevent the reproduction of many bacteria, potentially reducing their population and might keep them under control.

Although the immune system is incredibly complex, involving all the body, its core is the digestive system. An effective immune system is totally reliant on a properly functioning gut.

How Does Exercise Benefit Gut Health?

Another study said that exercise coupled with a healthy diet may positively impact gut health. The results of the study said that proper nutrition and regular exercise may result in an increase in gut microbiota diversity.

This possible improvement in the range of beneficial gut microbes also may have a positive impact on the immune system. In this study, there were 40 Irish rugby players as participants. Each of these rugby player’s microbiota in the intestines was checked before and after the study.

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During the study period, these rugby athletes consumed more calories from beneficial protein sources than the control group. The researchers said that proper nutrition and increased amounts of exercise may lead to an enhancement in the biodiversity of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

Researchers in this study said the enhancement of microbiota diversity may be connected to the increased consumption of protein.

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Balance is Key to a Healthy Immune System

Although exercising could boost your immune system, you must also know that too much may not be a good thing. Over-exercising may have adverse effects on your immune system. Too much exercise, to the point it makes you feel run down, might temporarily weaken your immune system.

What is over-exercising will vary from person to person and may largely reflect their current level of fitness. This simply means that you might not want to do more than you are capable of, and may want to increase your fitness steadily over time.

You cannot reverse years of sedentary behavior overnight, but with steady persistence, in a few months what you once considered tiring may be a breeze.

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In any “best exercise regimen”, it may be important to give yourself enough time to rest and recover from exercise events. This may result in improved immune health.

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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