A 2019 review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that moderate exercise can boost your immune system’s defense activity and metabolic health.
Science Daily reported on a recent analysis that was published in the journal Exercise Immunology Review. By keeping your immune system healthy, you increase your chances of warding off viruses — COVID-19 and others — and exercise remains one of the most effective (and science-backed) ways to do so. Plus, you’ll feel better and have more energy!
The Department of Health and Human Services suggests a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. That’s roughly 30 minutes per day for just 5 days of the week. While they don’t specify types of activity, here we have listed three exercises for you to try.
1. The Walk/Hike
Starting off, if you’re not ready to get all sweaty in the gym and want to naturally boost your immune system, a good old-fashioned walk or hike will do the trick. Being inside and glued to our screens is not good for any of us–physically or mentally–and it plays a part in our body’s immune response as well.
Even though social distancing regulations are in place, you can still go outside, which is what you should be doing because it lowers depression.
A 2015 study from Stanford University linked 90-minute bouts of walking outdoors to decreased activity in the part of the brain that’s associated with depression. The more difficult terrain of trail hiking increases your workout intensity and you get to see more of nature.
2. Quick Cardio
Doing a 30-minute indoor cardio workout is a great way to fit in some cardio exercises right at home without needing any equipment. Plus, it helps keep your heart rate up and pushes your weight loss into high gear. These exercises are perfect for the days spent indoors whether you don’t have enough time to head to the gym or are limited due to bad weather.
3. The Milk Jug and Water Bottle Strength Training Workout
Strength training is a method of exercise that includes moves meant to improve your body’s strength and stamina.
This strength training works like this: if you’ve never performed, an exercise like a pushup before and then do one rep, you’re introducing a new stressor to your working muscles — in this case, your chest, arms, and shoulders. As a result, the muscle tissues experience micro-tears, and the will body repairs them, to adapt, and they become both bigger and stronger as a result. That said, you don’t need lots of weight to do this.
If you’re new to strength training even the easiest variations of exercises will stimulate a response, and as you get stronger, you can increase the weight, reps, sets, or reduce your rest time to keep progressing.
You can even use stuff around the house like milk or juice jugs as dumbells. And if you want to get fancy, some even use the 5-gallon water jugs for water dispensers as a heavier weight. The point is, you can use just about anything to provide the resistance you want.
As for what the science says, strength training has been proven to increase muscle mass in adults (which translates to more calories burned at rest) and less fat mass.
Beyond a better body, studies also link strength training to improved coordination, better cognitive function, higher bone density, and reduced back pain in inactive adults.
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