The answer is yes! Having a strong immune system is important for being able to fight off a COVID infection, and regular exercise like strength training is a key part of that.
Exercise Boosts Your Immune System
Exercise helps you to fight off infection because it plays a major role in improving your body’s immune response. Basically, working out does this by promoting good circulation, which allows specialized immune cells to move throughout the body. As the white blood cells travel through your blood, lymphatic system and tissues, there’s an increased probability that they will come into contact with pathogens which they will then destroy. Ultimately, regular exercise helps reduce inflammation and lowers your risk of illness.
Strength training is great at increasing blood flow! Every movement you make is a muscle contraction. Your 30-minute Loyalty Fitness workout will help circulate immune cells throughout your body for up to 3 hours!
Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of COVID infection, but it can also help prevent many other diseases. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease (the #1 killer in America), anxiety/depression, certain cancers, and dementia are all directly impacted by exercise. Being active and incorporating strength training can improve your overall health by reducing your risk of infection as well as helping to reduce your risk of these chronic conditions.
Exercise and COVID-19
What about exercise and COVID-19 specifically? There have been several studies conducted over the last year and a half that address this very question. The British Journal of Sport Medicine looked at 212,768 Korean adults over the age of 20 that had been tested for COVID-19 and assessed their general health and activity levels. They found that adults who engaged in both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities had a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe COVID-19 illness and COVID-19 related death.
Sure enough, the biggest finding the study produced is that exercise, both aerobic and muscle strengthening, should be encouraged as a matter of public health safety. They recommended:
- a minimum of 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity activity
- or a minimum of 75 minutes each week of vigorous intensity activity
- and 2 days each week of resistance training.
Foods to Fight Off Diseases
Exercise is only one piece of the immunity puzzle. There are many foods that you can add to your diet that will help fight off infection and inflammation. By adding antioxidant rich foods, you are fueling your immune system with several essential nutrients. Try adding a few of these to every meal:
- Wild-caught Fish: high in omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation
- Almonds, Peanuts and Hazelnuts: antioxidant rich, they boost cell production
- Chicken, Turkey, Seafood, Beans, Broccoli and Kale: high in iron which helps with circulation
- Garlic, Broccoli, Sardines, Tuna, Brazil nuts and Barley: high in selenium which helps to slow down overactive immune responses
- Citrus fruits, Berries, and Kiwi: High in vitamin C which boosts your immune system
There are also foods you should avoid because they can be inflammation triggers. Try to avoid processed foods, breaded/fried foods, and sugar. All of these foods can actually suppress your immune system as well as slow down or even prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Super Slow Strength Training is a great choice when incorporating exercise into your routine for improved immunity. Not only does it help to strengthen your muscles, but it also provides the cardiovascular benefits of regular aerobic exercise. Book a session with our Loyalty Fitness personal trainers in Greenwich, CT or Syosset, NY today!