Exercise Immunology and You

(Photo Credit: Routledge)
(Photo Credit:   Routledge)
(Photo Credit: Routledge)

If you’ve been keeping up with medical news and medical articles, one thing you can’t have missed is preventative health and wellness. With our current healthcare system racking up unheard of amounts of debt, it’s being seen as a viable component in the solution of lowering our healthcare costs. Preventative health and wellness is the means of adhering to a healthy lifestyle in a manner that prevents disease and other illnesses from harming your body before they occur. It’s easier to deal with health issues before they happen than it is after the fact. Healthcare professionals at medical conferences across the world have been saying for years that in the long run, it’s much cheaper to deal with a health issue before it happens than it is after. That being said, prevention and wellness just make sense. One key component that I’d like to discuss with you is exercise immunology: the study of exercise and your immune system.

First and foremost, generally speaking why should we exercise?

Well, it improves our immune system, it helps improve our energy, helps with our ability to sleep, and lowers the amount of stress we have in our lives. Basically it’s like a single pill that helps our bodies in more ways than one.

So how does exercising play a positive role with our immune system? I’ll outline some key medical information about exercising and how it impacts your immune system; this isn’t every impact by any means, just some of the important ones I wanted to discuss

• Reduces the # of colds you get every year
• Boosts your immune system strength to help your body fight off harmful diseases
• Strengthens your heart since more blood pumps throughout your body when you exercise
• Your lungs are better equipped at handling oxygen and sending it to the rest of your body
• Increases macrophages production ; cells that attack bacteria
o This only lasts for a short amount of time
• Helps improve cancer surveillance
• Better circulates immune cells throughout the body
• Consistently working out; near-daily basis, leads to a long-term immune response.

However, based on the level of intensity you’re working out under, working out can actually do more harm than good. Working out for more than 1.5 hours at a moderate to high intensity level, especially without proper food intake can do some real damage. Some of the key drawbacks of intense working out include:

• Susceptibility to illness up to 72 hours after the exercise session
• The acceleration of neutrophil suicide
o White blood cells that are key in the immune system that respond to the site of infection in the body and attack any intruders they come across
• The more intense you work out and the longer it’s done means the longer your body will take to fully recover

When it boils down to it, exercise can play a key role in how effectively your immune system functions. How you exercise is what determines if that key role is positive or negative. Exercising a half hour a day or a few times a week can do a lot of help. If you are going to work out every day, make sure your intensity level isn’t too strong for too long. According to studies, employees who frequently work out take half as many sick days per year as those who don’t exercise.

Exercise is a form of medicine that can be extremely beneficial when properly executed. It’s a fun and not within your reach. Exercise can help make a positive impact on your immune system and your health at a fraction of the cost. Once you get in the routine of exercise, the hard work will pay for itself in terms of a healthier immune system and less frequent hospital visits. With our healthcare costs being through the roof, by just working out, you’re helping get our healthcare system out of debt, and keeping yourself out of the emergency room, as long as you don’t exercise too hard. Perhaps if even half of us out there start exercising regularly, then we’ll see some more positive medical news in the future?

author’s bio:
Joe Baxter worked in medical research for the majority of his life. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling abroad, working in his wood shop and freelance writing about medical news.

© 2013, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.

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