If this year has taught us anything, it has been how important it is to be proactive and take charge of your personal health and happiness as much as possible.
We have heard a lot about preventing the spread of illnesses this year, but one thing that we haven’t heard much about is strengthening your body’s natural defenses against illness.
I’ve got some science-backed info on which you can take action, starting today!
You already know that a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods (vs. processed) that are low in sugar is good for you. And that keeping your routine steady — with enough sleep (7-8 hours a night) and not too much stress — also is good for your immune system.
Moving your body also plays a major role — and researchers are still figuring out all the reasons how and why it matters so much! Here are just a few:
- It can keep your body’s lymphatic system moving. This system is a huge part of your immune system, keeping all your disease-fighting white blood cells and antibodies flowing through your body, and helping to get rid of waste.
- Being physically active can flush invading bacteria out of your respiratory system, cutting your risk of getting sick.
- The slight increase in body temperature caused by vigorous exercise might stop bacteria from growing, helping your body fight infection.
Also, exercise can reduce stress and help you sleep better!
That’s great, but you might be wondering how to put it into action?
Last year, the “Journal of Sport and Health Science” published a roundup of studies into the link between exercise and the immune system.
* Acute exercise (defined as moderate-to-vigorous intensity that lasts less than an hour) is an important immune system booster, especially if you work out on a near-daily basis. This is like a brisk walk, jog, riding a bike, workout class, or quick weights session.
* Too much exercise (like an athlete prepping for a major event) or working out hard while under a lot of other stress (not eating enough, traveling, too little sleep, etc.) can actually harm your immune system because it can over stress your system.
The takeaway: Definitely exercise most days of the week, but don’t do it too long or too intensely for too often.
If you are looking for help in creating your own fitness plan, I’d love to help! I offer something for everyone with a variety of programs including in-person, virtual classes, hybrid, and even self-paced online programs (with accountability, of course!) Click here to schedule a free discovery call with me and let’s talk about which program is best for you!
Thomas Fitness Consulting was launched in 2017 after Laura Thomas decided to fulfill her dream of helping professional women and expecting and new mothers find strength and energy through movement and accountability support. She currently serves the greater Westlake and Broadview Heights areas in-person and also offers virtual coaching. For more information, visit thomasfitnessconsulting.com.