Is there a way to improve your immunity with exercise? Yes! The very nature of most exercise boosts your immune system both acutely and chronically. If you move often throughout the day, there is an increase in circulation that can help with reducing inflammation. Furthermore, regular exercise can also help with lymphatic drainage and have a detox effect on our bodies. Examples of types of movement that help promote immune-boosting circulation and lymphatic drainage are as follows:
Bodyweight resisted strength training – using our own body weight makes doing weight training accessible to most and enhances circulation beyond machine-based training protocols. One example of a great immune-boosting movement is the squat. Bodyweight squats use most of our lower body and trunk to perform so they are a great bang for your buck in inducing immunity-friendly blood circulation.
Bounding – any movement incorporating light hopping such as skipping, side hops, single-leg hops, rebounding, etc. all help with moving fluid through the lymphatic system and boosting our immune systems.
Walking – In one study, it has been shown that 30 to 45 minutes per day of regular walking reduced sick days by 43 percent! Walking is a fantastic and accessible way to have a positive impact on our immunity.
As you get into higher intensity exercise there can be enhanced immune-boosting effects but also there may be a ceiling. Too much intensity can cause a deficit in immunity through overtraining. Basically, doing more or too much exercise relative to one’s capacity. Some important questions to ask are as follows: Are you already immune-compromised? Are you just starting out in an exercise program? Are you getting adequate rest and sufficient nutrition? What is your training experience? These are all important considerations before constructing your immune-boosting workout.