Boost Your Immune System With Exercise

The arrival of autumn and the drop in temperatures creates the need to boost our immune system and protect ourselves against viral diseases. Emphasizing the importance of regular exercise and healthy living, Specialist Dr Nagihan Akkaş from Medical Park Gebze Hospital Internal Diseases Clinic explained how we could enhance our immune system.

Acts as a Defense Mechanism

Underlining the need to strengthen our immune system to face fewer problems in the fight against viral diseases, Specialist Dr Nagihan Akkaş said, “People usually pay more attention to the immune system’s health during winter when colds and flu are common. But we need to pay attention to the immune system throughout the year as rapidly spreading epidemics such as coronavirus infection are on the agenda. Our immune system works nonstop to defend our body against viruses or microorganisms throughout the year.”

Fights Viruses

“The immune system is our body’s natural defence system. Invaders—viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi—are ubiquitous and can potentially make us sick. A healthy immune system prevents these invaders from entering the body. If invaders break through this barrier and enter the body, the immune system releases white blood cells and attacks foreign invaders; it produces a protein, detects their hiding place, and tries to get rid of them before they reproduce. When our immune system works properly, it keeps many problems, from cancer to the common cold, at bay from our body.”

4 Suggestions to Boost the Immune System

After reminding us that no single pill or medication would boost our immune system, Dr Akkaş added that a healthy and high-quality lifestyle throughout life was the only remedy to boost our immunity. She listed suggestions to enhance our immune system as follows:

Exercise: The first step to a quality and healthy life is exercise, and brisk walking is the easiest way to exercise. We should pay attention to speed up our heart rate for half an hour at least three days a week when working out. Physical activity releases endorphins, which positively affect our brains. It eases our pain, reduces stress and helps us sleep better.

Nutrition: For our immune system to work well, we must eat healthily and choose the right food. A balanced diet increases resistance to infections. A diet high in calories and sugar weakens the immune system. Dark green, red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. Our country is rich in foods, including oranges, tangerines, quince, apples, broccoli, artichokes, and onions, and we need to consume them in a balanced way.

Sleep: Regular sleep is precious for stress management and keeping a healthy immune system. Lack of sleep invites both infections and obesity. Irregular and little sleep causes us to be irritable during the day and makes us get angry quickly. Sleep deficiency leads to a stressful lifestyle, weakening our immune system and making us sick.

Hygiene: We need to pay attention to our hygiene. Cleaning our hands with soap for 20 seconds is much more valuable than most precautions. Hand and mouth cleaning is vital since diseases are mostly transmitted by hand and mouth.

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