Many of us have had to make adjustments to our daily living since the beginning of this pandemic. One area that I know played a huge role in my daily routine was exercise to keep me strong, feeling energized and mentally fit. I believe most people know the benefits of exercise on our body and mind, but did you know the benefits to our immune system? With COVID still circulating in our communities, it is wise to do everything we can to stay healthy during this time and exercise plays a key role.
Plus winter can be a tough time to stay healthy. It’s cold and dark, so we don’t want to go outside and exercise as much as we normally do. But it’s important that we don’t let this weather get us down! In fact, there are plenty of reasons why exercising is the best way to beat the winter blues.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine once you participate in an exercise program billions of immune cells wake up and start to circulate throughout your body. These immune cells are primed and ready to take action, instantly. They circulate through the body looking to kill off virus-infected cells. I think of it like your own personal army ready to attack and defend itself.
Another benefit: active people recover faster from illnesses than their sedentary counterparts – and staying fit can help colds from turning into something worse like pneumonia or bronchitis (which both require antibiotics). Staying fit also means less downtime spent recovering from cold or flu symptoms.
It’s just not about feeling better after getting sick; there are other advantages as well! Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and improves muscle endurance; this means you can do more physically demanding tasks without getting tired as easily as someone who doesn’t workout regularly (like carrying groceries!). Furthermore, having greater muscle mass decreases your risk of developing diabetes later on in life – and helps reduce the chances of having heart disease as well!
If you struggle with motivation when it comes to exercise remember this fact to help get yourself moving. Exercise adds another layer of protection to fight off any viruses and keep you feeling healthy this winter season.
Looking for a good low-impact exercise program? A few options include:
- Weight training with light weights
Personally, I love Pilates as it is a low-impact exercise program that builds strength throughout my whole body, improves balance, fosters a mind-body connection all while lengthening and mobilizing my joints. After a good Pilates session, I feel strong, lengthened, clear headed and now I know that on the cellular level I am giving my immune system a boost.
Whatever exercise you choose, know it will have a lasting impact on building your immunity to viruses and staying healthy.
Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day.Sign up for the newsletter which is jam packed full of fitness tips and advice for seniors, bonus freebies and subscriber exclusives by clicking here.