Evolve Chiropractic Wellness Studio

The Immunity and Exercise Connection

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Battling off colds and flu viruses, managing bacteria and viruses we encounter daily, and attacking the “bad” cells that form in our body are just a few of the many incredible things our immune system does for us. The strength of or immune system is impacted by many factors, most notably our age, gender, diet, medical status, stress and fitness levels. It’s so important that we carefully consider all these various lifestyle aspects to ensure we are doing everything in our power to keep our immune system balanced.

One of these factors that we definitely want to ensure we’re taking care of is exercise. The relationship between exercise and our immunity is a fascinating one which doctors are still continuing to do research on the link between. Along the way, they have discovered some significant truths in how exercise boosts the immune system.

exercise ball girl

Generally speaking, research has revealed that regular and moderate exercise is beneficial to your immune system

Here’s how:
• Exercise boosts your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to fight bacteria
• More recent studies show that there are actually physiological changes in the immune system that happen when a person exercises
• After a person exercises, the cells capable of killing bacteria and viruses circulate at a more rapid pace through the system
• Even though this boost only lasts a few hours after exercising, it is usually enough to keep you much healthier than if you didn’t exercise
• In people who don’t exercise, these cells appear to work at a much slower level
• Studies have shown that people who work out regularly take half as many sick days annually than those who don’t exercise consistently
• For those who exercise regularly, there is a decrease in prolonged inflammation
• Contributes even more directly by promoting good circulation, enabling cells and substances to travel freely throughout the body and be more efficient
• Exercise has been shown to aid in the increasing production of macrophages, which are cells that fight the types of bacteria that can trigger upper respiratory diseases
• Exercise also slows the release of stress-related hormones, and stress is shown to increase the likelihood of illnesses

Exercise for Immunity:
• To help the body resist various diseases and viruses, aim to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 40 minutes per day
• Don’t overdo it! Too much exercise can negatively impact immunity strength
• High intensity endurance activities (marathons, racing) lasting 90 minutes and over can increase your susceptibility to infection for up to three days
• Keep your exercise routine consistent and progressively challenging, but be sensible about the gradual changes and variety in your program


Brown, J. (2013, March 11). How Exercise Affects Immunity. Retrieved from: http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/wellness/how-exercise-affects-immunity.html

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