How does exercise affect the immune system, and an immune system booster supplement we love!
As I struggle to get out of bed and run a few miles without feeling like I’m having a mini-stroke, I watch world-class athletes perform and wonder how hard they must have worked to get there.
But low immune function in athletes is notoriously high. How could this be when they are at peak fitness levels?
The good news and an important thing to remember is that research has shown a clear link between moderate, regular exercise and a healthy immune system. Moderate exercise can be as easy as briskly walking for 45 minutes per day and has been linked to positive immune system response and a temporary boost in the production of macrophages, the cells that attack bacteria. Regular exercise provides numerous benefits to both physical and mental health, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, obesity, and depression. Exercise aids cognitive function, skin health, collagen production, gut health, reduces brain fog, and improves cardiovascular health. So, if you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, get out there and move your body - the benefits of doing so are so worth it!
Now here’s the interesting part. There is also evidence that too much intense exercise can reduce the functionality of your immune system. Research shows that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance exercise can make athletes susceptible to Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (think colds, flu, cold sores) for up to 72 hours after the exercise session. This is important for those who compete in longer events such as marathons, professional training, triathlons, etc. Again, the mechanisms by which intense exercise seems to cause a temporary decrease in immune system function are still being investigated, but we do know that during intense physical exertion, the body produces hormones that temporarily lower immunity. Cortisol and adrenaline, known as the stress hormones, raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system. We all know that stress is bad for our immune system, and physical/biological stress is included! Athletes need immune system support.
It is also important to note that leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause a build-up of stress hormones which reduces immune function. Sedentary lifestyles are often accompanied by other immune-damaging habits such as eating processed foods, which can exacerbate the problem. Compared to those who are inactive, those undertaking moderate exercise on most days of the week might experience half the occurrence of symptoms of infection.
So, if you are a competing athlete, training for a marathon, or think you may be overtraining, here are a few tips that might help you to support your immune system!
8 Tips for Immune System Support
70 % of your immune system is in your gut! Diets high in processed foods and sugar may drive inflammation, increase gut permeability, and cause bacteria imbalance in the gut, all of which can negatively affect your immune health, as well as other systems in your body! A diet rich in plant foods is high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which are key to a healthy immune system.
Avoid rapid weight loss—Low-calorie diets, long-term fasting, and rapid weight loss have been shown to impair immune function.
Obtain adequate sleep, aim for 7-8 hours per night —Major sleep disruptions (getting three hours less than normal) have been linked to immune suppression.
Avoid overtraining and chronic fatigue—Space vigorous workouts and events as far apart as possible. Don’t push your body if you need a day to recover, take adequate rest days for immune system support.
The pressure of training for a big event can be stressful. Make sure you take the time to reduce your stress levels by meditating, doing yoga, doing breathwork, or any other activity that helps you to feel calmer.
As we age, our immune function naturally decreases. Make sure that as you get older, you tailor your diet and activity to maximize immune function and consider an immune system booster supplement.
Listen to your body! If you are constantly tired, getting sick, or are not feeling recovered from your workouts, take a break.
Adaptogens are natural substances that have been shown to reduce the body’s response to physical, mental, and environmental stressors. Speak to your doctor to find out if taking natural remedies like Powderful could help with immune system support.
Immune System Booster Supplement
Powderful was formulated with adaptogens, functional and nootropic mushrooms, spices, and Zinc so is great for immune system support.
-Adaptogens are compounds thought to help your body react better to stress and aid restful sleep, which could help with immune support.
-Functional and adaptogenic mushrooms are being studied for their positive effects on the immune system, cognitive function, energy levels, and more!
-Zinc is a key nutrient for the immune system, skin repair, muscle recovery, and gut health.
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