How Weight Training Supports Immune Health
A Body in Motion- Lifting weights raises your heart rate and therefore makes your blood circulate through your body at more than when it is at rest. Your blood carries cells that are on patrol for unwanted invaders in the bloodstream. Working out makes this patrol force hypervigilant and more likely to detect problem cells early on and eliminate them before infections can even get bad enough to make you feel symptoms.
As we work out, our heart rate naturally increases, as with any rigorous activity. As we sweat it out, our body pumps blood many times over it’s normal rate and releases endorphins. These endorphins are chemicals our bodies produce to relieve ourselves of pain and stress. The more we let go of’em, the better we physically and mentally feel.
Resting Easy- Weight training has a symbiotic relationship with sleep. Most people fall asleep easier and have improved quality of sleep after a workout. While we sleep, our bodies repair and rebuild our muscles. Recent studies have shown that more sleep makes your body more efficient at eradicating viruses and unwanted bacteria, as well. So working out results in more high quality sleep that is essential for your immune system to do its job.
Exposure to Foreign Bodies- We don’t just mean the European guy in the sauna at the gym. Working out (especially in public places) exposes your body to a moderate amount of bacteria and germs even if good sanitization practices are used. Believe it or not, this is a positive thing in most situations.
Think of your immune system as an army. If you or someone you know has any experience in the military, you know how often soldiers train and go through drills in order to remain prepared for action if they need to be deployed. This is very similar to how your immune system works. If your body is never exposed to a threat from unwanted germs and bacteria, it doesn’t get the necessary practice and preparation required to ward off the real deal viruses and infections that could cause serious harm.
Final Thoughts- As you likely know, weight training has so many benefits beyond the obvious. Good health habits have a domino effect of positive impacts on your quality of life ranging from simply feeling better to a measurable improvement in your body’s ability to fight off sickness.