Are you doing everything you can to prevent getting sick this cold and flu season? Maybe you’re taking Vitamin C every day, eating healthy and trying to manage your stress. Well, we’ve got some breaking news. You’re missing ONE extremely important thing from your routine. Lifting weights! Who knew lifting weights could help combat illness? We’re here to tell you that lifting weights could potentially prevent you from getting sick. Exercise, building muscle and strength training should be considered essential in your health and wellness routine. Let’s break down the science behind this and how you can effectively train to build a strong immune system.
Strong Muscles Equal a Strong Immune System?
There are a few key ingredients that go into building muscle. Amino acids and protein are two extremely important parts of the recipe. When we build muscle, amino acids act as the building blocks for your body to function properly, repair your muscles and recover you quickly so you can train the next day. Just like when we’re sick, our immune system needs to be strong so we can rest and recover in a short amount of time
When we consistently work on our strength and muscles, we will eventually need more amino acids. Over your life, it is believed that you can have a reserve of amino acids. Lucky for us, amino acids also play a crucial role in a healthy immune system. Those of you that keep your muscles working, will also keep your immune system response working too. Studies have indicated that older people with more muscle mass, are healthier, recover faster from sickness and have an overall better immune system response.
Strength Training Helps Prevent Sickness
Your body isn’t constantly fighting illness, so something needs to set off your immune system for it to kick into gear. Exercise can act as a catalyst for your immune system to check if there's any sickness in your body. Research suggests that when you go for a run or lift some heavyweights, there will be more immune cells in your blood than when you’re resting. Even if you’re strength training just once a week, your body will be better prepared to fight illness as opposed to someone that doesn’t train at all.
When you age and if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, your immune system will and probably has been fighting the sickness for a long time. When your immune system is constantly in battle, your T-cells become tired and you can experience immune exhaustion. T cells are a vital part of the immune system but can deplete over time. Although the research is at its early stages, many people believe that muscle mass influences the function of T-cells and can potentially replenish them when your body needs the extra help to fight. If you’ve already got the muscle but are interested in arming your immune system even further, consider trying
Exercise Does THIS for Your Body
A post-exercise high is not just a myth. When you give it your all in the gym and come out feeling alive and energised, a real chemical reaction is occurring in your body. Endorphins are released, which make you feel good, so you’re basically being rewarded for picking some things up and moving around! Not only does this help manage stress (which is a huge health hazard) but you can minimise your risk of heart disease by keeping your heart strong and active.
Along with this, when you exercise your body temperature can briefly rise during and after your sweaty session. In what other situations does your temperature rise? When you’re sick of course! Our bodies do this to fight bacteria and create an environment where the bacteria will not survive. By working out and temporarily raising your temperature, you might be killing the bacteria that could have turned into a nasty cold.
How to Get Started in Strength Training?
When you first start out at the gym, it can be easy to stick to the cardio section and steer clear of the intimidating weights area. But it’s time to get out of your comfort zone! You can start by grabbing some dumbbells and finding a quiet area of the gym. You don’t have to immediately go to a squat rack or bench press. You can smash out a killer weighted work out and get out of the gym in less than 30 minutes. If you need a bit of help getting pumped up, try a pre-workout! With some extra support from Freaked by Genetix Nutrition, you’ll leave the gym feeling like you gave your session 100%.
Not only does strength training impact your immune system and your ability to fight off sickness, but there's an added bonus; you get to be strong! There are so many situations in day to day life that require a bit of muscle. Lifting a box, carrying furniture or holding a baby. For the women out there that are worried about getting ‘bulky’, don’t worry. Getting strong does not mean you are going to build an abnormal amount of muscle. Strong is beautiful! If it’s not already, strength training should be the next thing on your to-do list.