Did you know that there is an important link between the capacity of your immune system and physical exercise? In this post we are going to introduce you to this content that can be decisive for your health and well-being.
What is the immune system?
If we were to answer this question with an analogy that is easy to understand and remember, we could say compare it to an army and the defensive forces protect our body.
The immune system is a set of interconnected organs, cells and tissues that work together to protect our body from external threats.
It is this defensive system therefore, which acts against the attacks of infectious agents and against any type of potential invader. As the best defense is to attack, the immune system charges against all those organisms and substances which threaten the healthy state of the body and could cause disease.
As with any army in the world, the defensive function does not only involve attacking enemies. Equally important or perhaps more so, is to be vigilant and cautious; to detect as soon as possible when threats are coming and in which ways potential enemies are developing. Finally,upon identifying a certain alarm, our immune system takes action and will attack germs to prevent the an illness.
Types of immunity
In practice, we encounter two types of immune responses:
- Innate immunity: These are cells – mainly macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells – which are located in the areas most exposed to contact with dangerous agents. They are mainly found in the respiratory tract and digestive system. Their reaction is immediate and very efficient.
- Adaptive immunity: At other times, the germs can be are unknown or unusual actors. In these cases, our body has to learn to respond in a powerful and specific way to these enemies. It is a response that is often develops over the years.
We can conclude therefore, that we are all born with an immature immune system. As our body comes into contact with infectious foreign bodies, it improves its ability to respond and will develop an effective immunological memory. This means that if we face the same disease for a second time, our body will react faster and stronger.
That said, can we strengthen our immune system if we want? Of course! How do we do it?
How do we strengthen the immune system?
There are a number of guidelines that will help you to improve and strengthen your body’s immune response capability..
Remember the analogy at the beginning of this article? If you think of your immune system as an army with a clear defensive function, you will quickly understand that exercise, good food, sport, organization and a good life balance will make these soldiers stronger.
Similarly, there are situations that negatively impact – and weaken – our defenses. The most frequent are situations of stress, anxiety and suffering from diseases such as lupus, cancer, AIDS or diabetes.
What can you do, naturally, to boost your auto-immune response? Later we will talk extensively about the three most important aspects: exercising, resting well and eating right. Beforehand however, you can start to help your own personal defensive army by practicing and acquiring these two great habits:
- Learn to relax: First of all, try to get rid of stress,i.e. no rushing,no pressure and don´t overwork. Your white blood cells, essential for effective immunization, lose their capabilities if they do not get the rest they need. Practicing yoga, relaxation, breathing exercises or simply spending time on your favorite hobbies and activities is a must.
Electrostimulation with a muscle relaxation program could also be beneficial.
- Surround yourself with positive people: Tying in with the previous point, although it is not totally scientifically proven, feeling at ease with the people who accompany you will create positive energy and good vibes. Practice positive thinking and keep toxic people away from you as they will cause you stress which will ultimately make you sick.
Do physical exercise
It has been absolutely proven that doing sport is also beneficial for your immune system. You’ll stay in better shape of course and have more dynamic and responsive energy. It is important to not overdo it though; exercising too intensely and not taking the necessary breaks can be counterproductive.
It is, however, undisputable that exercise will do you good physically thus improving the immune system.
In comparison to a sedentary lifestyle, regular, moderate sport reduces the risk of illness and infection at all ages. Here are the arguments that support this reality:
- Elimination of bacteria in the respiratory tract and lungs: Physical activity contributes to this and, in this way, you minimize the chances of catching a cold, flu or other respiratory ailments.
- Stop bacterial growth: During your physical activity and just after exercise, your body temperature rises briefly. These thermal changes, as with fever, help to fight and deactivate infections.
- Improvement of leukocytes and antibodies: In essence, these are the soldiers and ammunition of your immune army. Leukocytes are the cells of the immune system and fight against diseases by means of antibodies, capable of neutralizing external agents and bacteria. Continuous sports practice makes them circulate more quickly and thus strengthens their responsiveness.
- Stress reduction: There are hormones, such as cortisol that our body generates when we are stressed. Participating in sport decreases their production. As you know after all, the less stressed you are, the less risk you have of getting sick.
Electrostimulation as a physical exercise
One of the most important and decisive advances in the field of sports today is electrostimulation, also known as electrical muscle stimulation or electrical muscle stimulation or EMS.
Through this technology it is possible to improve conventional training and take advantage of it in multiple uses. These, of course, also include the possibility of strengthening the immune system.
Thanks to EMS, your workouts can be shorter, less demanding and, at the same time, more effective. With this electro-stimulation exercise, two days a week are enough to achieve a good tone and maintain it over time.
The Wiemspro System has proven its effectiveness and, in fact, more and more people are turning to these EMS technologies professional or amateur athletes are turning to these EMS technologies.
If you want to know what are the advantages and characteristics of electrical muscle stimulation for sports, our post “Electrical muscle stimulation. Does it work?“let us ease your main doubts.
Treasure your hours of rest
This is also important in order to optimize your immune capabilities. You need enough sleep: never less than 7 or 8 hours a night and, as best as possible, try to maintain a normalized schedule.
Maintaining routines, as with babies, is equally important. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
Of course, having appropriate resting essentials is important. Choose a good mattress with the right firmness, the right pillow, nice bedding and a bedroom with a pleasant atmosphere.
Foods for the immune system
The third and final pillar for human immunity is food. Maintaining a balanced diet, which includes in the correct proportions the intake of vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates, is very important.
Hydration, drinking water and refreshing your skin by wetting it frequently, is also an essential guideline to strengthen your immune system.
In contrast, the consumption of processed foods, saturated fats, alcohol and tobacco is hugely detrimental to this end.
Without obsessing, but with good judgment and determination, you should eat well, with a healthy balance which promotes well-being for your body.
The best foods for the immune system are:
- Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit.
- Broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage.
- White meat.
- Shellfish and crustaceans.
- Sweet potatoes and yams.
- Turmeric and therefore also curry.
- Oily fish.
It is advisable however, to reduce the consumption of soft and carbonated drinks, caffeine, salt and processed foods as much as possible in the diet.
Foods rich in vitamin D
You have the power, as you can see, to help the immune system through your choice of food. Regardless of the specific foods you eat, the essential thing is to make sure you incorporate into your diet those components that are crucial to our immunity.
We are talking about vitamin D in particular. Fatty fish – especially salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna – and, to a lesser extent, egg yolk, liver, mushrooms and cheese are all products that contain Vitamin D and, therefore, they are recommendable.
Vitamin C, which is present in citrus fruits, also plays a major role in this immune booster. And zinc is another important component.
If you want, you can consume these ingredients through food supplements or by carefully planning your diet.Either way, with this information, you are better prepared to strengthen your immune system day after day in a simple and healthy way. Do you want to have access to other useful content about sport, health, lifestyle and electrostimulation? Subscribe now to our blog and you will be updated on the main news in this field.