weights - best exercise for strong immune system

Best Exercise for a Strong Immune System

If you’re looking for a silver lining in this pandemic crisis it may be your health and fitness. How ironic that it’s taking a pandemic for the message to be loud and clear that exercise is critical for every individual that wants to be strong and resilient.

If you couldn’t find the time, motivation or you felt taking care of yourself was selfish before COVID19 (BC), your obstacles have been removed. Besides that, there’s also no shortage of workouts online during this crisis.

But are they all good for you? Is it as easy as just picking random YouTube videos or Pilates, or Barre or fusion workouts streaming at any time you want?

What is the best exercise for a strong immune system?

bikes Best exercise for strong immune system

This is Your Body Under Stress

Whether you’re an exercise enthusiast or a newbie choosing exercise for a strong immune system right now is not the same as it was just weeks ago. You’re dealing with stress and that reduces your ability to recover from exercise. Exercise is stress.

If we consciously control it and adjust during this time we can build a strong immune system.

Women in menopause are more susceptible to the negative effects of stress due to changes in sex hormones. We’re all experiencing some level of stress right now making it necessary to avoid the additional stress of too much exercise. You have to seek a new “sweet spot.” You don’t want to exercise too little or too much.

Rethink Moderate Exercise

Don’t be confused by advice to exercise moderately. The truth is that advice is leftover from the 80s and 90s. A better way to use the term moderate in relation to exercise is to do a moderate amount of high and low-intensity exercise.

This is definitely not the time to be thinking more is better, at least not where volume is concerned.

Mid-intensity exercise is actually what I refer to as “no benefits zone.” It sabotages your results, especially for women in midlife. Hormone balancing benefits, including reducing cortisol, occurs most optimally from exercise intensities that are higher or lower. Your immune system benefits optimally from those very same intensities. 

The Facts

Contrary to what you might think, high-intensity exercise is actually one of the best ways to boost your immune system.

A single bout of high-intensity exercise increased cells associated with immunity 5x. The increase in immune cells was greatest in subjects who were of moderate fitness level before the study, compared to athletes in the study.

Whether you’re just beginning or you’ve exercised regularly for decades, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is something to consider. HIIT doesn’t require special or any equipment.

hiking - Best exercise for strong immune system

What’s Immune Boosting?

What’s Immune Busting?

  • More volume of exercise
  • Long sessions of any type
  • Ignoring the need to get breathless and reach muscular fatigue
  • Endurance exercise
  • Overuse of the same muscles and joints daily
  • Lack of recovery time, sleep, and nutrition

Move Over Endurance Exercise

During the crisis, more frequent, shorter duration choices are the best exercise for a strong immune system. Do high-intensity intervals for 15 minutes in the morning, take a brisk walk with the dog at noon, do a strength training session late afternoon.

On another day strength train in the morning, clean and organize the house in the afternoon, stroll after dinner.

The 411 on Best Exercise for a Strong Immune System

  1. Get breathless during your interval training. Do it one to three times a week, for no more than 45 minutes total weekly time. Start with 10 minutes once a week if you’re new to it.
  2. Reach muscular fatigue during every strength training set. Strength train your full body twice a week No weights at home? You’ve got water bottles. Fill them with rocks, then sand, then water. You’ll create a 4-5 lb. hand weight. It may take a few more repetitions or going slower to reach fatigue. You’ve got time.
  3. Stretch, do yoga or Pilates, or use a foam roller daily to relieve muscle tension.

These are the 3 most important things you can do. You may not see some of your favorite trending exercises here. You can fill in with them. But in 36 years, I’ve yet to see a study about the immune-boosting quality of a barre exercise class. (Don’t shoot the messenger: I minored in dance in college). Prioritize time and energy into the best exercise for a strong immune system. Fill in with the rest.

yoga - Best exercise for strong immune system

Signs You’re Over or Under Doing It

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Insatiable or lack of appetite
  • Cravings
  • Obsession over exercise
  • Desire to nap when you’re done

Weight Loss or Weight Gain Prevention?

Concern about the “quarantine 15” is real while we’re at home, stressed, and emotional eating. Exercise of the right duration and intensity will not just build a strong immune system, but it will also help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. You’ll be in better control of your choices.

It may be helpful to plan your exercise before meals as research suggests that even a few minutes of exercise before a meal improves healthy choices at each meal.

Most of us will agree that if you’ve done your body good with exercise in the morning, you’re more likely to make more good decisions all day. All of them will influence your immune system.

Make an Appointment

Among the women in my global community, the common obstacle during COVID19 for all women has been the struggle to find a routine. My advice is to create a plan. Whether you’re at home alone or surrounded by more family members than you’re used to, things have changed. Sit down with the list of what things have to happen in your day along with your exercise and ink yourself in first. Exercise breaks can actually serve as an anchor in your day that’s missing right now.

Exercise is Medicine, so much that the American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine partnered to create that program years ago. Here’s why we need to embrace this right now: A single bout of exercise enhances your antibacterial and antiviral immunity.

If you’re wiping down shopping carts, wearing a mask and gloves, sheltering at home and not exercising optimally? You are missing one of the most proactive ways to take charge of your health. Here’s to a healthier you during and after COVID19.

Shop Home Workout Gear

Did you like this article? Sign up (it's free!) and we'll send you great articles like this every week. Subscribe for free here.

Related Posts

health and fitness tips for women
Consistent Workouts Beat Aggressive Workouts
Lose weight without muscle
Lean Muscle Feature - building muscle after 50
Stability ball exercises
The after 50 fitness formula
5 Resistance Training Exercises for Women Over 50
Workout routines change and evolve as you get older.
How to Break A Weight Loss Plateau
Home 10 Minute Workout Routine
exercising is one of the 6 Things Healthy Women Consistently Do
PrimeWomen Award