Looking for an easy way to worry less about the Flu season?
Look no further. It’s called regular, moderate intensity exercise!
While no one is completely immune, with the H1N1 virus circulating a few years ago, and discussions around pandemics a nearly annual event now, it’s a good time to point out that regular exercise improves your body’s ability to fight off disease and infection!
Even better, you don’t need to train intensely for those benefits. Because while you do need to work a bit harder to improve strength, and you do need to work a bit longer to improve your endurance, and you do need to work a bit faster to improve your cardiovascular fitness levels, regular moderate exercise is all that’s needed to improve your immune systems.
Why is that?
Well, a few theories exist.
- First, the more rapid breathing associated with moderate exercise helps flush the lungs of airborne illnesses.
- Second, increased sweat and urine production helps rid the body of carcinogens.
- Third, an elevated heart rate more quickly circulates antibodies and white blood cells to fight off infections.
- Fourth, increased body temperatures have been found to help prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Lastly, and as we’ve mentioned for a few weeks in a row now (insulin and calories; insulin and sugar; insulin and sleep),hormones are related in no small way. But this time, it isn’t insulin we’re blaming, it’s cortisol.
For while cortisol is required to handle stress and other stressful events, prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels are quite detrimental to your health, and your immune system.
So, what’s moderate? It all boils down your a Long Slow Cardio Event as was described back in February. I’ll need to update that posting for today’s frost less landscape, but that should get you started!
And what is regular? Well, that’s most days of the week (4 or more with the new math). Sorry, there are no short cuts on frequency.
Need a bonus tip for fighting off the pig flu? Don’t forget to get enough rest! For while adequate sleep will help with your job performance, it also improves your immune system!