As we head into the colder fall and winter months, we also head into cold and flu season. Bolstering your immune system takes more than simply keeping warm and taking your vitamins—in fact, consistent exercise is an incredible boon for your health, and can even help strengthen your immune system. Here are three ways you can use exercise and fitness to help stay ahead of the common cold.
- Do: stick to your routine, even if it’s cold and dark outside. As with any other time of the year, increased circulation, the release of endorphins and opportunity to release stress all contribute to your overall physical and mental health. Though there are plenty of questions remaining about exactly how exercise helps boost your immune system, it is known that physical activity may help flush out bacteria from the lungs as well as other wastes through sweat and urine. Also, the temporary rise in body temperature may help you fight off bacteria as well.
- Do: make sure you fuel your body properly both before and after exercise, and don’t skimp on sleep. No matter why you exercise—whether it’s to lose weight or maintain fitness—you should be providing yourself with proper nutrition and energy for your workouts and recovery. At Smooth Fitness, we can’t emphasize this enough.
- Don’t: overdo it. If you exhaust yourself and don’t properly refuel, you can actually wear down your body and become more susceptible to sickness. If you’re already faithful to a workout routine, then don’t fall prey to the ‘more is better’ fallacy—if it already works for you, stick with it, and reap the benefits.
Whether you work out on a smooth elliptical or a treadmill, or if you’re taking advantage of fitness accessories to get a full-body cross-training workout, that exercise will be on your side when the coughing and sneezing starts.