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Exercise and Your Immune System: Staying fit to fight Covid

Exercise and Your Immune System: Staying Fit to Fight Covid
Owen Pham
Owen Pham Updated: 06 May 2021
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Our lives have changed a lot in the past year. A particular wide-spread virus is mostly responsible for this new lifestyle. Coronavirus has motivated people to pay attention to their health more than ever before. We have realised that exercise and your immune system might offer us the ultimate protection against this deadly virus.

One way to keep your immune system operating at its best is to include daily exercise in your schedule. However, just like everything else, exercising in the Covid 19 age has its own peculiarities. Here we have decided to check out the link between exercise and your immune system and take a quick look at the best at-home workout routines.

The surprising link between exercise and your immune system

Improves lung capacity

When working out, you typically end up taking many deep breaths. This significantly improves your lung capacity and blood oxygenation levels. According to the Lung Institute, you’ll typically be able to increase your lung capacity between 5% and 15% by exercising frequently. In addition, exercise naturally flushes germs out of your body’s airways and reduce the likelihood of becoming sick.

Better Antibody Circulation

Physical activity can boost your immune system by improving white blood cell circulation. White blood cells or antibodies are responsible for detecting diseases. So, if you were to come into contact with the Coronavirus, your body would typically be better equipped to respond and fight against the virus.

Higher Resistance to Infection

Commonly, exercise results in a slightly elevated body temperature during physical movement as well as immediately after. Theoretically, this acts much like a fever and stops bacteria growth. So fighting off secondary infections becomes an easier task for your body if you keep up with your daily exercise plan.

Less Stress Hormone Release

Physical activity has been proven to lessen the secretion of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. A decreased amount of stress hormone in your veins benefits your immune system. When cortisol and adrenaline levels are high, your body’s inflammation levels are increased, and you’re typically more susceptible to illness.

More endorphins and serotonin

Serotonin plays a significant role in maintaining a good mood, and Endorphin increases the level of happiness. They both stimulate the release of the amino acid tyrosine and zinc, a key element found in the immune system’s cells. Both of these are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Why it’s more important than ever before

Back in the normal times, even if you didn’t deliberately work out, you would still engage in some physical activity: Commuting to work, hanging out with friends at a mall, or just going grocery shopping. These days, while staying at-home is the safe thing to do, it should be combined with a home fitness workout routine to help you maintain your health.

It’s vital to stay active while maintaining a home workout program. Regular exercise is suitable for both our physical and mental health. It can reduce the risk of heart conditions, but it can also lower your stress levels. Improving sleeping patterns and controlling weight are the side benefits of exercising.

5 best at-home workouts to boost your immune system

  • Yoga: Yoga is widely known to be a stress-relieving exercise, and typically lower anxiety levels result in a more robust immune system. Particular yoga poses also improve the circulation of blood flow. The good news is that you can do yoga almost anywhere, and that includes the “safety” of your home. There are many great free yoga lessons on the internet, in case you need instructions.
  • Climbing stairs: This is often the easiest form of exercise to work into your day. It needs no additional instruction. Doctors believe that in addition to improving energy and muscle strength, climbing stairs can increase endorphin release, which is responsible for boosting happiness.
  • Weight training: Aerobic exercises such as weight training have been proven to boost the immune system and help the body fight off respiratory infections. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution not to outdo yourself when lifting weights. It is best to consult a professional trainer, for example, by attending online classes.
  • Dancing: This one may be the best home workout program on our list. And it is definitely the most fun. Dancing engages your entire body and the quick and slow movements; it involves all sorts of healthy blood, oxygen, and hormone circulation. Plus, dancing induces Endorphin secretion, which can benefit the immune system.
  • Resistance Training: Exercise programmes which require you to use your body weight as resistance are great for improving your upper-body muscle and bone strength, but that is not where the benefits stop. Semi-heavy exercises such as push-ups can speed up the blood pumping throughout your body, which ultimately can benefit the immune system.

How to stay comfortable when exercising in a face mask

It may be hard to imagine exercising with a face mask on, but if you choose your face-covering wisely, a jogging session in the park can still be enjoyable. The biggest issue to deal with would be the breathability of the mask.

Face-coverings with a respirator valve, such as N95 masks, are more exercise-friendly. The movements involved in physical activities may also cause problems with the fit of the mask. Nose-clips on a mask can make all the difference when it comes to fitting it on your face. Alternatively, you could opt for a running buff. They’re a great option as they tend to be fitted and won’t move around as you exercise.

Here are some additional tips for choosing the right face shield for use during activity:

Frequently asked questions

  • Which exercises improve your immune system?

    As you have surely realised by now, any movement impacts the immune system positively. Aerobic and strength exercises are among the best types of workouts that can benefit the immune system. Maintaining a regular, daily exercise plan is key to ensuring workout effectiveness.
  • When is the best time to exercise to boost your immune system?

    Straining your body can have a counterproductive effect on your immune system. That is why many experts believe the best time to work out is in the morning before the day’s chores have drained your physical and mental energy. The best time to exercise can vary from person to person, depending on their body’s condition.
  • Which is the best face mask for exercise?

    If you plan to buy a face covering for training, you should look for features such as a comfortable fit, breathable design and fabric, and whether the mask can draw sweat away from your face. ASOS Oakley fitted light cloth mask seems to be a great all-in-one package for face masks suitable for daily exercise.
  • How do you avoid contracting Covid 19 while exercising?

    You can always work out alone from home, the safest place to be right now. But if you’d like to head out for a run, try to find an open, uncrowded space. Wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing, and avoid touching your face before washing your hands.
  • How does exercise help you fight the Coronavirus?

    Protecting the body against respiratory infections is the main reason why exercising can help fight the Coronavirus. The heavy breathing that happens during workout sessions cleans out the airways. Also, white blood cells can circulate better throughout the body while exercising, positively influencing the immune system.

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