Tags: exercise | immunity | flu | yoga

Exercise for Strong Immunity

By Erika Schwartz, M.D   |   Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 04:14 PM

Exercise is a very important tool in flu prevention. When you exercise, the hormones you generate improve your immune system function. The more aerobic exercise you get, the stronger your heart and lungs become, and the better prepared you are to fight germs.
The more strength-building, weight-bearing, and endurance exercises you perform, the more likely you are to break the back of any flu or other virus coming your way.
Remember that you do need to be careful about doing too much. Overexercising may hurt you more than help you because it can drain you and produce a countereffect of lowering your immune resistance.
So listen to your body. If you are tired, it’s more important to sleep than to exercise. If you are jet-lagged, it’s more important to do 30 minutes of exercise to help you adjust to the right time zone.
Take a shower as soon as you are done exercising so you don’t sit in sweaty clothes and get cold. The warm shower will improve your immune system’s function and increase the benefits of exercise.
Also, be sure to eat protein and a vegetable high in beneficial fat (like avocado) within 30 minutes of exercising so your body doesn’t get depleted and become vulnerable to sickness. If you get the flu, skip exercising altogether until you have no fever for an entire day, then start back slowly.
This no exercise rule also applies to yoga, which may feel gentler than running or brisk walking but is still strenuous exercise.

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