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Aug 15

How Exercise Helps the Immune System

Want to feel more energetic and avoid those occasional bugs that lay too many of us low? Getting regular exercise can help make your immune system stronger and keep you going all year long. A few of the reasons exercise can be so valuable:

1. Exercise may flush bacteria from the lungs and airways.

Researchers theorize that elevated respiration like you experience during the tougher parts of your barre Pilates workout may flush bacteria out of your system, decreasing the chances that you will get sick. Getting out and moving could be the ticket when a summer cold starts making its way around the office.

2. Exercise changes the activity of your white blood cells and antibodies.

When you exercise, these cells circulate the body more rapidly. Researchers believe that this can result in faster detection of illnesses than you would otherwise experience.

3. Exercise slows down your body’s release of stress hormones.

When we have higher levels of our bodies’ stress hormones circulating, it makes us more vulnerable to inflection. Lowering the levels of stress hormones in your body can make you less susceptible to illnesses. The affects of stress hormones is cumulative: we lower them each time we exercise, so regular workouts are key.

4. Exercise makes us crave healthier foods.

When you are getting to class regularly, hydrating before and after and doing other good things for your body, you’ll find yourself craving more of them. Our minds go through something that scientists call the “transfer effect.” Healthy habits in one area make us more likely to desire improvement in another. So, when you get out of a tough barre class, you are more likely to pick a dinner that has healthy servings of fruit, vegetables and complex carbs than you are to pick up a burger on the way home.

5. Healthy habits help control your weight.

When you are exercising regularly and observing healthy eating habits, you are more likely to attain and keep a healthy weight. People who are neither underweight nor overweight have better resistance to illnesses than people who’s weight is outside the healthy range. By keeping your weight within that healthy range, you can make it more likely that infections will pass you by.

6. Exercise briefly raises body temperature.

The rise in body temperatures can make your body less hospitable to invading viruses and bacteria. The effect is similar to what happens when you get sick and develop a fever. The good news is that the temperature rise from exercise is temporary and healthy.

While colds and flus are most common in the winter months, they can strike any time of year. By keeping your body healthy and your immune system primed, you can lower your chances of getting sick and keep yourself active and energetic.

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