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Boost Your Immune System with Exercise

Por Leslie Rodríguez, RD, LD* -
Boost Your Immune System with Exercise

You probably already know that regular physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy. It helps you lose and maintain weight. It provides great stress relief. It keeps your immune system in good shape.

Regular exercise might also protect you from getting a cold. People get sick as a result of exposure to germs and your susceptibility to those germs. Your immune system helps you fight against germs. It may grow weaker due to old age, poor diet, lack of sleep, cigarette smoking or lack of activity.

Researchers have studied the effects of exercise on the immune system. Most findings show that the average adult usually gets two to five colds per year. Individuals who are more active usually have 25% fewer colds in a year than those who don't exercise. Several changes occur to your immune system during exercise. First, some immune cells flow through your body quicker than usual. Cells that travel faster are better able to kill germs and viruses. Your immune system will return to normal a few hours after physical activity. The boost will last a while and will continue to help your body fight off viruses.

Should you exercise when you get sick to get over a cold more quickly? This area still needs more research.
Most experts agree that you can safely do light activity, like walking, when you have cold symptoms without a fever. 
You should avoid more intense exercise until a few days after your symptoms lessen. You should wait about two weeks before getting back into a heavy exercise routine if you have signs of the flu.


Too little or too much exercise can also have a negative impact on your immune system. You must focus on finding the right balance of activity, diet and rest. If you want to have fewer colds this year, exercise more!

*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity of MyDiet™

 

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