Research has shown that people who exercise regularly suffer less frequently than people whose type of activity is defined as sedentary activity. Studies show that the number of sick days is reduced by half for people who walk lightly for 30 – 45 minutes, five days a week.
Physical activity can help the body flush bacteria out of the lungs and thus reduce the risk of influenza, colds and other respiratory diseases. It can also help flush out cancerous compounds through urine and sweat.
Exercise promotes faster movement of antibodies and white blood cells (defense cells) by the body.
As these antibodies and white blood cells circulate faster, they are able to identify diseases earlier and start fighting them earlier. Accelerated blood circulation also promotes the release of hormones that alert the cells to bacteria or viruses. The current increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise can prevent the spread of bacteria and thus help the body to defend itself more quickly and effectively against infection.
Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones, and it has been proven that stress can increase the risk of various diseases.
Although exercise has many health benefits, do not overdo it. If you exercise regularly, you do not need to force yourself further to increase your immune system’s resistance because you already feel these benefits. An abrupt increase in exercise intensity can actually lower white blood cell levels and increase stress hormone levels. Research has shown that the greatest benefits of exercise are felt by people who exercise regularly for a longer period of time, ie for several years. It is not difficult to include moderate exercise in your daily schedule. It is enough to ride a bike several times a week, walk for 20 to 30 minutes a day or go to the gym every other day.
Can you exercise if you have the flu or a cold?
Since exercise strengthens the immune system, it is generally safe to exercise if you have the flu or cold, as long as you listen to your body. But sometimes medication can speed up the heart, and exercise speeds it up even more. This combination will cause your heart rate to accelerate so you may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have the flu or a cold but feel you can exercise, consult your doctor first. If the symptoms get worse during regular exercise, slow down a bit and take a break. Exercise should help relieve symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or shortness of breath. If you notice a worsening of symptoms, it means that your body is not ready to exercise. It would be wise to continue exercising but reduce the intensity in half. It is better to practice the same amount of time with a lighter intensity than with the same intensity, and shorter. Do not exercise if you have fever or stomach pain. Also, do not exercise if you are experiencing chronic fatigue. Before, during and after exercise it is very important to drink plenty of water, especially if you are sick because the risk of dehydration is already high.
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