Has the lockdown played havoc with your daily routine? Is trying to balance work and home stressing you out? Stress, can inhibit many critical functions of our immune system. Under stress, the cell mediated immunity (t-cells and lymphocytes) is reduced. This, in turn, prevents these cells from doing their job of seeking out vulnerable areas in our body and prevents viruses, pathogens or foreign objects from gaining a foothold in our acquired immunity.
It is important to know this because a well-functioning immune system reduces the impact of certain viral infections as well as our recovery time if we become infected.
Exercise boosts our immunity by something called mobilization. This means that with each bout of exercise, billions of immune cells are recruited and recirculated in the blood. This allows them to recognize and kill virus infected cells.
With this increased surveillance, it makes us more resistant and better equipped to deal with pathogens. Research has shown that individuals,who regularly exercise, are less likely to get sick. (Source: Science Daily)
Exercise also reduces the release of stress hormones which as we said, increase the immunity. Exercise diminishes stress hormones by promoting the release of endorphins,enhancing both mood and natural good hormones.
Interestingly, the rise in body temperature that occurs after an exercise session is similar to the environment a fever creates when the body is fighting infections. Coupled with the increased flow of white blood cells, it increases the body’s ability to recover faster.
Of course that doesn’t mean that you should go out and go 100%. Too much exercise increases your vulnerability to illness. This occurs because the levels of stress hormones outweigh the effects of beneficial health promoting hormones, resulting in a state of chronic inflammation. Just keep it mild and you are good.