Although the current situation is constantly changing and evolving, one thing remains the same; how our immune system works. It is easy to prepare for a good immune response. You may know that the immune system improves with physical activity, and that the minimum level of activity is easy to reach.
Get your hopes up! Do a quick read up of the following chronicle on moderate physical activity and the immune system.
The benefits of moderate exercise
We are confident that you know much more about the immune system today than before the pandemic. Today, we’re talking to you about a simple and effective way to improve your immune system and deal with viruses, bacteria and other germ attacks. We have known for a long time that moderate and regular physical exercise helps to improve the quality of our immune system.
What does science really say on this subject?
Among the many good scientific studies on the subject, we want to highlight an article from the ‘Journal of Sports and Health Science’ (8 (2019) 201-217) which takes the form of a ‘systematic review of the literature’ where the authors scrutinize everything which has been published on the subject of immunization and the effects of exercise on it. This ‘review’ brings together the best articles with the most reliable and valid results on the subject. This allows you to have real confidence in the conclusions and principles of the subject presented.
Conclusion: It is possible to improve your immune system! And here are the ways to get there:
Find your own rhythm. What is a “moderate exercise”:
Moderate exercise is physical activity that lasts 20 to 60 minutes.
In order to measure the exercises, the experts use the metabolic equivalents (MET) as a basic measure. A MET is defined as the energy required to sit still. For the average adult, this represents about one calorie per 2.2 pounds (or 1 kg) of body weight per hour spent. So a person who weighs 160 pounds would burn about 70 calories per hour while sitting or sleeping.
Specialists define moderate intensity activities as those that burn three to six times more energy per minute than if you were sitting quietly. Sitting is equivalent to 1 MET. It is therefore necessary to do activities from 3 to 6 MET for 20 to 60 minutes.
Here are some examples:
- Very fast walking (6 km/h)
- Intensive cleaning (washing windows, vacuum cleaner)
- Lawn mowing (Mower without propulsion)
- Light cycling efforts (15-20 km / h)
- Recreational Badminton
- Doubles tennis
- Line dancing
- Basketball (continuous shooting hoops)
- General gardening (raking, pruning of shrubs) – without shoveling!
- Jumping rope
Happiness for our immune cells:
Moderate and sustained exercise for almost 60 minutes increases the activity of several types of immune system cells. These cells help protect us from infections. In addition, this effect is cumulative. When physical activity is repeated every day, the number of these immune cells continues to increase. Regular exercise in adults has also shown an increase in biological markers that help decrease inflammation. And this is independent of your physical form. Everyone benefits from this effect even if you have a few extra pounds …
Let’s not exaggerate:
Sometimes the intense physical exercise of some athletes has an opposite effect on the number of cells of the immune system and their protection against infections. In contrast to a moderate pace, if exercise is too strenuous and is repeated and maintained, these athletes continue to decrease the effectiveness of their immune systems. This puts them at greater risk for, among other things, infections of the upper respiratory tract. You will understand that this phenomenon is rare, in the general population.
Exercise to prevent sickness:
Several studies also show that moderate and regular exercise decreases the chances of getting influenza virus and pneumonia by 40% to 50%. Isn’t this something we all want to avoid these days?!
There is a growing body of research showing that the cumulative anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of exercise slows the creation of cancerous tumors, atherosclerosis and development of other diseases.
** Fig. 5. from the article: J curve model of the relationship between the continuum of exercise workload and the risk of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI risk).
It is never too late to do well:
Recent studies show that “aging” of the immune system can be slowed down by moderate exercise. It remains effective longer to fight diseases.
So it’s never too late to get the benefits of moderate physical activity. And these “physiological effects” are activated as soon as the exercise is regular, no matter the age.
So go ahead and exercise… moderately!
The Dynamik Team