Exercise & Nutrition for a Stronger Immune System
In the fitness industry exercise is commonly used for aesthetics; however, it is underutilized for overall health benefits. Studies have consistently shown exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being (Penedo, Frank, Dahn, and Jason, 2005). Studies on the influence of moderate exercise training and immune function have found active individual have about half the number of sick days compared to those who are inactive (Nieman, Pedersen, 1999). The World Health Organization has strong evidence to support physical activity across a wide variety of populations. Active individuals:
- Have a lower risk of chronic disease (Specifically heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and depression)
- Are less likely to have a hip or vertebral fracture
- Exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
- Are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, which reduces the risk of obesity related disease
For more information, read their fact sheet here
Healthy eating is another controllable method for maintaining a strong immune system. Studies have confirmed several vitamins, minerals, and trace elements are needed for immunocompetence. Antioxidants are also needed to protect against oxidative stress (Grimble, 1997; Chandra, 2002). Fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants. The World Health Organization recommends consuming at least 5 servings/day of fruits & vegetables for optimal health. They have strong evidence to support a reduced risk of chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, stroke, & cancer) in healthy eaters. For more information regarding nutrition for a healthy lifestyle, read their Healthy Diet section.
Fitness Professional, Liz
Interested in learning more? Contact Liz or one of our other great Personal Trainers to figure out how to get more physical activity and/or exercise into your lifestyle.