Can regular exercise help keep your immune system in good shape? Researchers are just now supplying some answers to this new and exciting question.
Fitness enthusiasts have frequently reported that they experience less sickness than their sedentary peers. For example, a survey conducted during the ’80s revealed that 61 percent of 700 recreational runners reported fewer colds since they began running, while only 4 percent felt they had experienced more.
Further research has shown that during moderate exercise, several positive changes occur in the immune system. Various immune cells circulate through the body more quickly, and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. Once the moderate exercise bout is over, the immune system returns to normal within a few hours.
In other words, every time you go for a brisk walk, your immune system receives a boost that should increase your chances of fighting off cold viruses over the long term.
So what exercises work best? Doctors say the superman is one of the best.
– Lie on the floor on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you and your legs extended behind you. Your chin should be slightly off the ground.
– Contract your back muscles and raise your arms and legs a few inches off the floor at the same time.
– Hold for three seconds, then lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.
– Repeat several times, until you are slightly winded.
– Do three sets, taking time to recover completely between each set. And to make this truly a PACE workout, increase the intensity with each set, either by increasing the number of Supermans you do or by increasing the amount of time you hold the position.
What exercises should you NOT do?
You would think that going hard in the gym is actually better for your immune system, but…