Most of us will be aware by now that taking regular physical exercise helps to strengthen our bodies and our immune function. And, as the saying goes “moderation is the key’, with excessive amounts of exercise and insufficient recovery periods having detrimental effect on our immune system.
Exercise – Nature’s Medicine
According to Hutchinson, A (2011) “Researchers suggest that physical activity tinkers with the balance between two types of immune cell…moderate exercise tilts the balance to limit excess inflammation. But prolonged, intense exercise suppresses inflammation too much, preventing the immune cells from doing their job”.
Standard guidelines for moderate exercise are in the ball park of five times 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week. (But the term moderate is clearly subjective).
So the message is :-
“Take a regular dose of moderate exercise each week to ward off ailments”.
This is especially significant with seasonal change from summer to autumn.
Researchers conducting a year long study of 547 adults found that those who exercised moderately caught 20% fewer upper respiratory tract infections, with the biggest benefit at the start of cold and flu season in fall (autumn).
Research also supports the idea that even a single bout of exercise taken before exposure to a high risk environment such as a plane journey can offer a protective effect from succumbing to colds and flus.
In short, stay well, exercise sensibly and most of all listen to your body!