Covid -19 II Exercise and Immunity
I hope your were able to read my previous blog on stress and Immunity. Today I would like to cover another pro-active step in boosting immunity and it also is crucial in also helping to reduce chronic stress.
What is the one thing that most Americans are lacking? Time and commitment to exercise. For some reason all the other priorities in life seem to take over and exercise gets put off until the next day. Then the next day comes and all the other priorities in life take over and exercise never seems to happen. We are all guilty including myself. Why is exercise so important today? Many reasons. Being a Chiropractor I get the opportunity to meet and interview hundreds of people each week. One of the first questions when meeting a new person is to ask what kind of work do they do… The answer I get about 80 – 90 percent of the time is, I sit at a desk infant of the computer all day. If not a computer, they are on their smartphone walking answering emails etc. Sitting 8-10 hours a day not moving staring at an artificial lighted screen can not be healthy. Some are fortunate to have a stand up desk (of which I wish I thought of that one) but still its standing and staying in one place for 8-10 hours a day. I am fortunate enough to remember a time when computers and cell phones were just coming out. Life was much different then. Children as well as adults were way more active. Jobs 50 -100 years ago were very active and physical such as: farmers, delivery people, the milk man, etc. With most people now sitting all day our bodies have become weaker. Heart disease is the number one killer due to inactivity as a major factor. So now we need to exercise to make up for all the sitting most of us do on the daily. If we do not take action now it is estimated by 2030 just 10 years away nearly half of all Americans will be considered obese.
After tracking the health of nearly 100,000 Americans for 14 years the American cancer society concluded: Men who sit for 6+ hours a day had an overall death rate of 20% higher. Women who sat for more than 6 hours a day had a 40% increased death rate. In a nut shell sitting is not good for you. What is the solution? Balance it out with different types of exercise throughout the week with 40 – 90 minutes moderate to intense activities such as jogging, bicycling, dancing, tennis, walking briskly, yard work and yoga at least 3x per week.
Exercise causes changes in your White Blood Cells and causes them to circulate faster finding pathogens such as viruses and taking action to destroy them. Exercise causes increased circulation throughout the blood vessels causing them to expand and contract keeping them flexible and less likely to have plaque and build up (heart disease). Exercise also creates an increase in body temperature similar to a fever of which pathogens especially viruses can not survive in higher temperatures killing them off. Exercise also increase volume of air passing through the lungs flushing out bacteria, viruses, dust, pollution etc that may have been stagnant in there from sitting all day.
It is key to try and make exercise a priority not only to decrease cardiovascular disease but also to boost immunity. Also remember part one, you don’t want to stress out over getting your exercise. You can even do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night works just as effective if you do not have time for the full 40 minutes at once. Fitting in Breath of Fire for 5 minutes a few times in a day can count for your exercise as well. (For more information of breath of fire talk to Dr. Evans or a certified Kundalini or Hatha Yoga teacher). Also do not go overboard and go out and run a marathon without training for it. Intense strenuous exercise can cause stress on the body countering what we are trying to accomplish.
Get outside and exercise whenever you can as the sun synthesizes Vitamin D in your body which is crucial for immunity, hormones, cancer fighting and more. More on that in another blog.
Thank you for reading…
Eric T. Evans, D.C.
Chiropractor Hamilton Square NJ.