Is exercising a must? Yes, it is. Our body is a wonderful creation of god. And is designed for activities like walking, running, twisting, jumping,etc. During this time of the covid19, it has become very important to boost your immune system and stay fit.
The amount of physical activity that a person does influences her risk of infection. It is attributed to our immune system. Regular exercise reduces the risk of infection compared to an inactive lifestyle. In order to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus – you should stay home, wash your hands often, and practice social distancing.
A researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine proposes exercising as one of the measures. And not just for its benefits to the lungs, but immunity and mood. 80% of the new coronavirus patients in the country were asymptomatic. The reason behind is a strong immune system.
While being fit won’t prevent you from catching the virus. But it can surely help you recover by boosting your immune system.
Types of exercises to boost your immune system.
Yoga is all about being in control of your body, mind and senses. A new research in the journal of behavioural medicine says that yoga can help in boosting the immune system. It decreases inflammation in the body. It is one of the most effective and time-tested natural immunity boosters. It can lead to a healthy body. It lowers stress hormones and strengthens the nervous system, which removes toxins from the body.
There are particular asanas which are directly linked to boosting the immune system. They are,
1. Shishuasana (child pose)
2. Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose)
3. Halasana (plow pose)
4. Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
5. Dhanurasana (bow pose)
6. Matyasana (fish pose)
You can do yoga daily and keep your stomach relatively empty before you start. This is suitable for people from all age groups. Only people with flexibility problems should avoid yoga.
Pranayama and meditation are two important parts of yoga. There are people in the old age group who can’t do asana properly because of lack of flexibility. For them pranayama and meditation are the best options to boost their immunity. When you practice meditation regularly, you give yourself healthy breaks. Thus breaking the cycle of stress, exhaustion, and depletion that you’re usually caught in.
Regular meditation improves the immune system. It is because it reduces blood pressure and even calms the mind which is very important during this pandemic. We know all the organs in our body are connected to the brain. And if we learn to control our mind, we are in control of our body as well.
Modernly intense cardio workouts tend to strengthen the immune system. That means an hour run at a moderate pace for most people. Walking is not cardio and a lot of people from the mid age tend to see walking as a form of exercise.
Running is the best cardio exercise that people can opt for during this time of coronavirus emergency. When you start to run, your heart rate increases. It is due to adrenaline and more blood moves through your body. Your body calls on certain types of white blood cells ( your body’s immune system cells ). They race around and fight off any potential pathogens.
There’s no question that the immune system weakens with age. But running might actually slow down the aging process. Specifically, it seems to strengthen the adaptive or acquired immune system.
You can start by running 30 minutes at a stretch. And people above 45 can start with 10 minutes of run and build up slowly to 30 minutes over time. And if you think running is something you don’t enjoy then you can always go for other cardio activities like – dancing, aerobics, zumba, cycling, or skipping.
Weight Training :
Strength training boosts your immune system as it pumps blood throughout the body. It relieves stress and most importantly releases endorphins. It is a chemical in your brain that revitalizes your mind and body.
Though weight training alone cannot help in boosting the immune system. It should always be done with at least 30 minutes of cardio to get the ideal results i.e. a strong immune system. You should train at least twice a week for not more than 60 minutes.
It might be difficult to do this as all gyms are closed due to corona pandemic. People can try doing exercises like burpees, planks, push ups etc to maintain the muscles, This is not suitable for people in elderly age. As a lot of muscles get broken during this process and senior citizens might not be able to adopt this.
Which exercise you choose to keep fit is a completely personal choice. The benefits of exercising goes beyond losing weight or losing inches and this pandemic made us realise that. It not only keeps us physically fit but helps us fight against diseases like coronavirus. It will improve muscle and bone density, heart and lung function, lower blood pressure, stabilise blood sugar and make agile, faster and stronger.
All these elements make up our immune system which protects our body from viruses. The essence of all forms of exercise is one, the differences are only superficial. It should help you get closer to yourself in this tough time and help you overcome the limitations. All exercises lead you to the same path , that of health, vitality and peace.