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Exercise: The ‘miracle cure’ which can help us fight off infection

You can hardly step outside your front door these days without a runner or cyclist whizzing past.

You may even have spotted some garden-based crunching and lunging or online lounge workout going on – not that we’re intentionally peeking through windows, but you get the gist.

Coronavirus lockdown has had us pounding the pavements and slipping on the gym gear for some home-based exercise like never before.

No longer able to go near a gym, swimming pool or team sport gathering, we’re having to make the best of what we’ve got, for now.

For many of us it’s about trying to keep ourselves fit and in shape, for others that precious exercise time is equally about mental health and wellbeing – a chance to escape the four-walls we’re currently cooped up in.

But did you know exercise can also good for our immunity?

There are currently a lot of stories out there about exercise helping our bodies to fight off infection in the context of coronavirus.

So, we thought we’d have a delve into the research and find out a little more.

First things first, what is our immune system?

Basically, it’s made up of special cells, proteins, tissues and organs, and does a fine job of defending our bodies against germs and infections every single day.

It’s a complex process and vital to keeping us healthy.

In return there is plenty we can do to keep it healthy.

Because of its complex structure, there isn’t one single thing we can do to ‘boost’ our immune system, but regular exercise is definitely one element which has proved to be effective.1

It’s already renowned as one of the pillars of healthy living – improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, controlling body weight and protecting against a number of diseases.1

Alongside healthy living strategies such as eating healthily, adequate sleep and minimising stress levels, regular exercise is right up there for good health and in turn a healthy immune system.1

In other words, it definitely contributes to helping our immunity, including boosting circulation to allow cells and other immune system substances to move through the body and do their job better.1

If you don’t exercise regularly what better incentive to start – not just for the short term but also for your long-term health?

Adults should aim to be physically active every day and do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity.2

For moderate workouts this could be brisk walking, cycling, hiking, dancing, workout videos or when the swimming pools re-open, water aerobics – how we miss those pools!

More vigorous activities include jogging or running, fast cycling or cycling on hills, walking up the stairs, sports like football or netball, aerobics or fast swimming.

Our centres may be closed for now, but we’ve been using lots of creative ways to help our members and communities keep active, healthy and happy until we re-open again.

You’ll find our latest home workout videos, including Danceability, Abs Blast and Tai Chi here.

We’ve long been extolling the virtues of exercise but now there’s an added impetus to keep active.

The NHS goes as far saying exercise is the ‘miracle cure we’ve all be waiting for’3 and we could definitely do with one of those right now.

Sadly, it won’t help to solve the crisis the world is going through right now but it will help you stay healthy and happy now and for years to come.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest Active Tameside online activities and news regarding lockdown via our free App, website and via our social media channels.

Please stay safe and well and we’ll be in touch again very soon.

 

The Active Tameside Team

 

References:

1 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

2 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/#guidelines-for-adults-aged-19-to-64

3 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/?tabname=how-much-exercise

 

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