The holidays are over for most of us and even though we’re currently enjoying a mini-September heatwave the signs of Autumn are starting to appear. It may not seem like it right now, but colder weather will soon be upon us and with it the threat of colds and flu. After the past year we’re all fully aware of the need to keep healthy but there is only so much we can do to avoid colds and viruses. The good news is there are simple things we can do to help boost our immune systems, so we are better equipped to fight off any nasty bugs.
A study done last year at the height of the pandemic showed how obesity and inactivity can lower the immune system. One of the simplest things we can do to help support the immune system and give ourselves a fighting chance against respiratory illnesses is to make sure we stay active, whether that be walking every day or taking part in regular exercise classes. The study found we are much more likely to see an improvement in our immune response if we partake in regular moderate exercise rather than prolonged intense exercise (especially if you have been exposed to any type of cold virus). The key is to be consistent, so make it part of your daily routine and reap the benefits.
Motivation is key
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself you could try joining a fitness class with a friend- you’re more likely to stick to the routine if you have a friend who is relying on you to keep turning up. You could also plan to walk every day with a friend or group of friends- walking daily is a great way to get some exercise and the social aspect of walking with friends will help boost your mental well-being. Above all you need to make sure you are having fun, or you’ll find it hard to stick to, so pick an activity you enjoy or mix it up and do a few different things each week.
How long do you need to exercise for to see the benefits?
The study recommends about 30-60 minutes of brisk walking every day to help boost your immune system.
Other things you can do to boost your immune system:
As always, if you are new to exercise you should take it slowly to begin with, listen to your body and build up gradually.
Contact Amanda if you would like any advice or support with starting any of Smart Fitt’s fitness classes.