A strong immune system is important for protecting you against a range of pathogens from viruses to fungi to bacteria. In addition, it helps keep you healthy and robust as you grow older.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on. As the more virulent variants keep the pandemic fire smoldering, now is an opportune time to make yourself more resilient to all that you come by.
You’ve more than likely seen numerous ways to “boost immunity” on social media. But the truth of the matter is, most of this stuff likely won’t yield a significant benefit.
Simple solutions such as herbs and supplements certainly get our attention, they’re simple to apply. Unfortunately, outside of correcting overt deficiencies, vitamins & minerals don’t have strong evidence backing their use for preventing infection. Though they may become useful once you become sick.
Herbs have some evidence of benefit. But if they’re strong enough to induce primary effects, they’re likely strong enough to produce side effects as well.
Fortunately, the best way to build a strong immune system doesn’t require expensive supplements. It also has a mountain of evidence showing how and why it works. And, it’s relatively free of side effects.
It is, however, an undesirable approach for most. But if you understand how it works and what it does for your immune system, you’d be a fool not to start right away. Not only does it help your immune system respond better to infections, it helps maintain a more youthful immune system as you age.
We’re talking, of course, about exercise.
How exercise helps build a strong immune system
It’s rather unfortunate that the benefits of exercise are typically tethered to weight loss. Truth be told, exercise isn’t particularly good for weight loss. Though, it does seem to be a lever that people who successfully lose weight use to maintain weight loss.
But the things that exercise does to our body go well beyond weight loss. For instance, exercise reverses some of the negative effects of aging on the immune system, including reduced thymic output.
As we get old, systemic inflammation alters immune function, a process known as inflammaging. This reduces our ability to fight off infections, but it also causes our immune system to overreact in a way that can damage our tissues. This happens as we age, but it can also happen as a consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Exercise is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to control systemic inflammation. Ultimately, we believe that exercise induces an anti-inflammatory profile in the body that may slow the negative effects of aging.
Exercise reduces senescent immune cells
There is another way that exercise promotes healthy immune function. A recent paper found that exercise functions as a senolytic therapy.
Cellular senescence is a process where some of our cells stop functioning properly. They enter a state where they remain functional, but they also secrete factors such as inflammatory cytokines that impair the function of other cells.
As we get old, the number of senescent cells that are produced in our tissues increase. Although their numbers are low, the persistent secretion of this SASP(Senescence-associated secretory profile) causes tissue and organ dysfunction.
Pharmaceutical approaches, also know as senolytic drugs, are currently undergoing trials to see if they may promote healthy aging. Fortunately, it appears as though exercise does this as well.
And since it does it by reducing senescent immune cells, exercise is a powerful way to improve the immune system.
To learn more about senescent cells, check out this blog that covers how senescent cells contribute to inflammation in the gut.
Exercise is one of the best ways to build a strong immune system. It helps prevent the age-related increase in systemic inflammation, helps maintain a more youthful and effective immune system, and eliminates senescent cells that impair immune function.
And the best part is it’s free, both financially and of side effects. So what are you waiting for?
Start off ith some easy stuff and work your way up!!!