Exercising strengthens your immune system
both immediately and in the long term.
How should you exercise? Moderate and low intensity exercise stimulates and enhances immune functions and cells, and thus the resistance to infections. However, very intense exercise suppresses the activity and level of certain immune cells and weakens our immune system. It is therefore important to exercise according to your physical condition because the reaction to physical activity is highly individual. Read more about exercise testing.
The function of the immune system
The function of the immune system is to protect us against various infections and parasites such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. In order for the immune system to function, cooperation between different tissues, cells and neurotransmitters is required. Simply put, the immune system consists of two different parts, the innate and the acquired.
The innate immune system consists of the skin, mucous membranes, chemical barriers in the form of enzymes in the saliva and our white blood cells which play a very important role in the body’s immune system.
The acquired immune system includes two more types of white blood cells – T cells and B cells. Exercise can have a beneficial effect by increasing levels of T and B cells. Thus, immunity is enhanced.
Exercise strengthens both the innate and the acquired immune system.
Less receptive to infections
By being physically active according to an exercise recipe with individualized intensity, duration and frequency, you can increase your protections against various infections at all ages.
This becomes more important with age and for anyone with reduced physical activity. Studies have shown that the association between physical activity and protection against URTI (urgent respiratory tract infection) in 66-84 year-olds people had the highest level of protection when associated with a specific level of physical activity. Read more about how you can strengthen your immune system.