The body’s defense system protects us against external threats – bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, toxins – and internal threats, which may include, among others, tissue damage or degenerate cells (cancer cells). The proper functioning of the immune system is a basic condition for a long life in health and harmony. Is regular physical activity beneficial to the immune system?
Physical activity and the functioning of the immune system.
For many specialists, regular physical activity is considered one of the basic factors that promote overall health. Regular physical exercise of moderate intensity promotes cardiovascular health, normalizes blood pressure, facilitates weight control and prevents diseases of civilization. Many people say that daily physical activity also contributes to the strengthening of the immune system.
Researchers confirm that physical exercise together with the right diet are the two most important pillars of a healthy lifestyle that help to protect against many serious diseases by stimulating the immune system.
Currently, there is no evidence that the lack of physical exercise directly affected the deterioration of the immune system. However, there are many publications that emphasize the fact that moderate physical activity reduces the likelihood of infections and colds. Researchers justified this situation by claiming that physical activity increases the activity of macrophages and their number in the body. Macrophages are the first defensive line that protects the human body against bacteria and viruses. Further evidence confirming the beneficial effect of physical activity on the body’s immune system is, among others, an increase in lymphocyte counts and an increase in antibody concentrations (IGG and IGM). According to some specialists, the growth of harmful bacteria is promoted by the increase in body temperature, which accompanies increased physical effort.
Remember that the beneficial changes in the immune system, which are the result of training, disappear within a few hours. That is why regular exercise is so important because regularity strengthens and prolongs beneficial effects.
What exercises improve the functioning of the immune system?
The correlation between physical activity and the functioning of the immune system is complicated. Therefore, it is important to individually choose a set of exercises for each person. As a general rule, moderate intensity exercises are beneficial for the immune system, i.e. those that do not lead to fatigue. Training should last no less than 40 minutes, but not more than 90 minutes a day. Remember that too much effort increases the susceptibility of the body to infections and can bring counter-productive effects. If you are practicing high intensity physical activity, ensure that you have enough rest time to get your immune system regained.