Exercise & Immunity - Can Either Be Too Much?
Chances are, you probably could use more exercise, but there is a limit. Getting too much exercise could boost you up far too much, pushing you further and further into overdrive.
How? Let's take a look at that.
Achieving a healthy balance is key, letting you enjoy your life and keep yourself healthy. So, you should go for a more moderate drive for exercise.
How Exercise & Immunity Work Together
Exercise is one of the key points in making sure you stay healthy. This is because regularly exercising helps your lymphatic system work correctly. This system clears waste and toxins and helps your immune system get to where it can do the most good.
If your immune system starts to clog up, it can cause pain, weakness, fatigue, and even illnesses. At its worst, it could even lead to cancer.
Good exercise will help increase your breathing and heart rate to flood your body with oxygen and help move nutrients and fuel to your muscles. Allowing your lungs to fill up with oxygen helps refresh the tissues and keep mucus from building up. And this helps reduce viral respiratory infections, such as COVID.
Also, exercise is anti-inflammatory. During exercise, the body produces anti-inflammatory cytokines that help regulate inflammation. The more you exercise, the more you produce. And it helps stimulate other immune factors that help regulate illnesses and inflammation, such as type 1 interferons that directly impact your ability to fight viruses.
How Too Much Exercise Hurts Your Body
But, you can do too much. At the time of writing this, the Olympics just ended. All across the world, gym memberships and sign-ups for sporting events skyrocketed as people watched healthy athletes competing on the world stage.
Many people start with outstanding goals to exercising every day to get in shape.
These are great! And for people who stick by it and continue to exercise achieve great results.
However, most will drop out in a few months. For most people, they started too fast and went too hard. They experienced injury or illness because of it.
If your body isn't used to exercise, jumping in too fast can increase the risk of injury. Muscles and joints that are not loose and used to exercise can get stiff and tight.
And your body is just not ready to support that kind of energy level for a while. You'll get tired and worn out and that saps your motivation.
If you haven't been exercising, get into it slowly. Start with no more than three times a week and work your way up from there. And, it doesn't have to be aerobic exercise right away. Take it a bit slower and build up your endurance with walking and more moderate exercise. Be sure to toss some weight training in to round out your muscles and provide strength.
Building a good solid habit of exercising moderately can benefit you more in the long run as you keep this level of exercise going. You'll get more benefits out of exercising moderately for several years versus exercising hard for just a few weeks.
Can There Be Too Much Immunity?
Yes, you can boost your immune system too much. It can happen with exercise, especially if you try and do too much too fast. But, most people do it through supplementation.
Since the pandemic started, the sale of echinacea and other immune-boosting supplements has gone through the roof. Echinacea is a wonderful supplement when you're feeling sick, but it should not be taken on a daily basis. Take a look at this article and we explain more.
There are great supplements out there that help support your immune system to function normally and be ready for an attack, but you should not look for supplements that boost you up.
If you start running your immune system in a boosted state for a long time, one of two things will happen (and possibly even both):
- You'll crash and get sick
- Your immune system can get stuck like that and create an autoimmune condition.
Neither of these are very fun.
Supporting your immune system with good nutrition lets your immune system be ready to work hard when it's needed. It's like exercise – moderate exercise gets you ready. But, if you push too hard, it's going to come back to bite you.
The key here is moderation - choosing an exercise program that builds you up. Doing exercise a couple of times a week at a moderate level will help you build healthy habits. This exercise will help stimulate your immune system so you can stay healthy. And, if you combine this with a healthy diet and immune-supporting supplements, it can help you stay healthy for a long time.