Dreading that typical end of Summer cold that’s bound to turn up and make the end of Summer just that bit more depressing? As the seasons change and Autumn is just around the corner, it’s important to take measures to keep your immunity levels up and give your body a fighting chance when cold and flu season hits.
Exercise is a great way to keep healthy and we are not talking about the obvious health boosting aspects, there is evidence that exercise can increase your immunity to certain illnesses including cold and flu. Here’s how…
1. Physical activity helps to clear your airways and lungs, helping to flush out unwanted bacteria that might be lurking, therefore reducing your chances of getting flu and other illnesses.
2. Get your sweat on! Exercise increases your body temperature, similar to when you have a fever. It’s this temperature increase that stops bacteria from growing and gives your body a helping hand in fighting off infections.
3. Bring on the antibodies! Your body produces white blood cells that help to fight disease. When you exercise these circulate around your body much faster, helping you to detect illnesses earlier and get your body fighting before it’s too late.
4. Exercise slows the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and stimulates the production of happy hormones including endorphins that elevate your mood and act as a natural painkiller. These hormones will help to boost your energy and reduce any aches and pains that are often a pre-cursor or side effect of colds and flu.
5. As we age the thymus (the part of the body responsible for controlling the immune system) shrinks. But, great news, studies have shown those participants who regularly exercised showed no sign of thymus shrinkage and actually “had the same amount of new immune cells as a 20-year-old”! What’s even better is that you don’t have to be a lifelong exercise addict to get these benefits, many of the study participants didn’t take up exercise until their late 30s or 40s – proving it’s never too late to #BEYOURATHLETE.
Before becoming run down, and allowing the dreaded flu to kick in, give your body some TLC by treating yourself to a deep tissue massage to flush out toxins that may be dragging your immunity down. Also, the relaxing factor of soft tissue treatments, such as myofascial release will give your body the reboot it needs to fight away any bugs that may have tried to creep in!