Exercise and immunity: staying fit at home

Exercise and immunity: staying fit at home

When you are used to go to a gym to exercise and are forced to stay at home, it is good to know there are alternatives to gym workouts. Since most of those exercises are shown on short videos with an explanation we will not present much text this time , apart from explaining why exercise is so important for immune system.

Battling another cough or cold? Feeling tired all the time? You may feel better if you take a daily walk or follow a simple exercise routine a few times a week.

Exercise helps decrease your chances of developing heart disease. It also keeps your bones healthy and strong.

We do not know exactly how exercise increases your immunity to certain illnesses. There are several theories. However, none of these theories have been proven. Some of these theories are:

  • Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
  • Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.
  • The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
  • Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness. 

Exercise is good for you, but, you should not overdo it. People who already exercise should not exercise more just to increase their immunity. Heavy, long-term exercise such as marathon running could actually cause harm.

Studies have shown that people who follow a moderately energetic lifestyle, benefit most from starting (and sticking to) an exercise program. A moderate program can consist of:

  • cycling a few times a week
  • taking daily 20 to 30 minute walks
  • going to the gym every other day (or workout at home)
  • playing golf regularly 

Exercise makes you feel healthier and more energetic. It can help you feel better about yourself. So go ahead, take that aerobics class or go for that walk. You will feel better and healthier for it.

A few links to useful sites for exercises:  Top 25 at home exercises with exercises that vary between easy and harder ones.

There are countless exercise videos to be found on Youtube , just by searching for 'full body workout without weights'

Even tougher are plyometric exercises, see Wikipedia for an in-depth explanation on why these are so effective: plyometric exercises without equipment. Be careful when you are not used to doing those, they are very harsh on your joints! 

If you aren't used to exercising maybe it's about time to start moving, here is a very easy and gentle one to start with: workout for beginners

Feeling stressed and worried? Maybe yoga or tai chi is a better idea for you.

Those who miss doing exercises with other people at the same time, the former athlete Olga Commandeur has a daily program on tv 'Nederland in Beweging' which is currently broadcasted several times a day. You can get an idea by watching a few of the latest broadcasts. You may need to set your VPN to the Netherlands if you watch from abroad.

Your local gym may also offer solutions for online training, by giving you access to their workouts, either live or recorded. Some even rent their gym equipment for temporary use at your own home. 

Blog post related items

Get every new article on your mail