Exercise Promotes Long Term Immune Health
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Have you been diagnosed with a chronic disease, like Lyme? If so, your doctor may have already spoken to you about the benefits of exercise and immune health. That's because there is a strong correlation between strength training regularly and overall vitality and health. It's no secret that regular exercise helps prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but did you know that it also bolsters and strengthens your immune system?
Strong Muscles Build a Stronger Immune System
According to research, skeletal muscle (think biceps, quads, and glutes!) shelters specific immune cells like T-cells and restores the arsenal of these immune cells when depleted. T-Cells are specific immune cells that target a particular antigen like "Lyme" or cancer. The vitality of our immune cells is essential in situations where the body is fighting a bacteria or virus over a long period; our immune system can become fatigued and over-stressed, decreasing its ability to protect the body against chronic infection, allergens, and tumors.
Regular Strength Training Helps Fight Immune Exhaustion
Though researchers do not entirely understand how the mechanism works, they know that skeletal muscle harbors T-Cells and can even help regenerate them. Muscles improve the population of "muscle-infiltrating lymphocytes," which decreases inflammation and increases T-cell pools. This is vital since chronic inflammation leads to worse outcomes when the body fights an infection over a long period.
Strength Training Optimizes the Body's Immune Response
A 2019 review published in The Journal Of Sport And Health Science shows that exercise deploys the body's pathogen- and inflammation-fighting immune cells, thereby slowing the effects of aging on immune strength. "Physical activity can also flush bacteria out of lungs and airways and causes changes in antibodies or white blood cells to help fight infections," explains Dr. Purvi Parikh, a New York City-based allergist-immunologist affiliated with NYU Lagone Health.
How Frequently Should I Strength Train for Optimal Health?
Aiming for 2 - 3 days of strength training a week is optimal for most people. Full-body workouts that incorporate compound exercises achieve great results for your overall health and your figure! It's important to remember that recovery time improves your outcomes with strength training. The body requires nutrition, rest, and time to get stronger and reap the benefits of strength training.
How Do I Get Started?
It's always best to establish a routine since working out regularly improves the cumulative benefits of strength training. Studies also show that you'll get the best results and accountability with an experienced certified personal trainer, rather than free videos on youtube.
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