When – and When Not – to Exercise
Can exercise keep you from getting the flu or a cold? What if you’re already sick? Should you push yourself to exercise anyway?
Moderate exercise has been shown to boost immunity. One study showed that those who walked at 70-75 percent of their maximum heart rate every day had half as many sick days as those who did not. You do need to be careful of high intensity exercise that lasts longer than 90 minutes; it can actually reduce your immune response.
Regular, moderate exercise releases a level of stress hormone that reduces inflammation within the respiratory tract, which helps activate your immune response. Repeating exercise on a daily basis adds to this cumulative, immune-enhancing effect.
That said, there are times you should not exercise or at least check with your doctor before exercising. These are:
- When you have a fever
- When you have increased chest congestion
- When you are wheezing or have excessive shortness of breath
- When you have chest tightness or pressure
- When you are light headed, dizzy or having difficulty with balance
Regular exercise not only helps as an immune booster, but it helps us reduce stress, lose or maintain weight, sleep better and improves our overall health.
Exercise IS Medicine!