Going for a run in the morning or lifting afternoon weights isn’t just something that’s good for maintaining your figure and building the muscle on your bicep. Physical exercise is important for every aspect of your life. It’s important for your mental and emotional health; if you exercise frequently, you’ll release endorphins and feel happier and healthier.
But did you know mental and physical health is connected to your ability to fight illness? Your body is interconnected; your brain, heart, and immune system talk to each other every second of every day. Yes, it’s important for your immune system that you eat well and take proper supplements, such as greens powder, but eating well goes hand-in-hand with doing physical activity. Here are five ways that physical exercise will boost your immune system, help you fight off sicknesses, and maintain your overall health and happiness.
1. Improves Heart Health
Getting your heart rate up actually improves heart health, which in turn helps fight off illness and–of course–reduced the chances of developing heart disease. According to recent studies, interval training might be the best form of exercise for people with pre-existing heart conditions, but any type of physical exercise will help improve your heart health. This is especially important if you’re someone with naturally high blood pressure; exercising can help lower your blood pressure and lower your chances of dying from heart disease complications.
2. Quickly Moves Antibodies
As you’ve probably heard, antibodies play an important role in stopping your body from getting sick, and exercise causes a positive change in antibodies and white blood cells, which are the body’s very own disease-fighting immune system cells. When you’re exercising and moving quickly, the white blood cells in your body also circulate quickly, which means they are likely to detect an invading illness faster. The faster your cells detect and begin fighting the disease, the less sick you’ll be.
3. Rises Body Temperature
You may notice that when you exercise, you sweat, your face gets red and flushed, and your body begins to feel hot–which is why you probably don’t want to wear a winter jacket on the treadmill. However, this rise in body temperature has a great deal of health benefits; the rise in your body temperature during and after a workout can help prevent bacteria from growing and spreading throughout your body. This works to help prevent bacterial sicknesses, but also might be helpful when you’re already ill. So next time you’re sick and you have the energy to muster up a workout, your body might end up thanking you.
4. Releases Stress Hormones
Oftentimes, bad moods or anxieties can be quelled with a quick jog around the block or a hilly bike session. Not only does exercise release endorphins, but it also slows down the release of stress hormones. Because your mind consults with your body every day to determine your health, lower stress hormones make it likely to prevent illness. In other words, stress can make you sick, and exercise can help prevent that stress.
5. Maintains a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of avoiding getting sick. Having too much excess body fat can make you prone to infection, as it can lead to dramatic increases in blood sugar which can be damaging to your body’s immune system. Of course, eating healthy is also an important component of managing your weight, but a healthy diet is nothing without a healthy dose of exercise.
Nobody likes being sick; there are few worse feelings than feeling too weak to get up from your bed to walk to the couch in your living room. That’s why physical exercise is so important; even if you hate it, it’s critical that you move your body for at least a half of an hour every day to kill your body’s bacteria, keep your heart healthy, and boost your immune system. Your future healthy self will thank you.