A single bout of exercise mobilizes billions of white blood cells, moves lymph (the railways of immunity) and may even stave off age-related inflammation.
Studies in astronauts found that a high fitness level can reduce viral load (more on that, here).
Since it’s vitally important, and part of understanding of how to stay healthy during this time, I thought some more science and specifics would be helpful.
Here’s a video summary of the four main ways exercise can help you develop better immunity.
For those of you who are unconvinced that exercise is important right now, here are the four primary reasons you need to get and stay active:
1) Reduce the incidence of chronic conditions associated with immunosuppression (non-communicable diseases or comorbidities associated with severe complications)
2) Exercise to prime the immune system and slow down immunosenescence
3) Exercise to decrease the rising inflammatory tone that happens with age (aka inflammaging)
4) Exercise to improve the body’s response to vaccinations
As if these aren’t enough, regular exercise is key to sustaining longer-term weight loss (Damon et al.). A detailed review of the Midwest Exercise Trial 2 found that only in five people tracked who didn’t exercise daily accumulating 2,000 calories burned from exercise over a week’s time.
Several other studies have found that consistent exercise leads to more spontaneous improvements in diet and reductions in meal size over time (Joo, 2019).
Learn tips to implement high-intensity interval training at home with Cynthia:
– A simple way to start high-intensity interval training at home and at any age
– Leg-focused lower body exercise equipment to look out for
Sadly, gyms are closed yet again. But there are many ways to stay active at home with bands, pull-ups, push-ups, and affordable equipment you can buy off Facebook marketplace or Craigslist.
Heffernan, K., Ranadive, S., Jae, S. (2020). Exercise as medicine for COVID-19: on PPAR with emerging pharmacotherapy Medical Hypotheses 143(), 110197. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110197
Nieman, D.Coronavirus disease-2019: A tocsin to our aging, unfit, corpulent, and immunodeficient society Journal of Sport and Health Science 9(), 293-203.
Silveira, M., Fagundes, K., Bizuti, M., Starck, É., Rossi, R., Silva, D. (2020). Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature Clinical and Experimental Medicine https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10238-020-00650-3