Get moving to support your immune health!

Exercise. It’s often considered a chore and if it could be responsibility sold in a bottle I’m sure many would buy it. But exercise is so much more than the drudgery that may be attached to the word. In fact, there are many people that would describe exercise as a “joy” and have found much pleasure in exercising.

And truthfully, I dislike the word exercise – the word movement seems more appropriate, fitting and inclusive. Moving our bodies IS exercise, and how we choose to move our bodies can be as unique as we are. Gardening? That counts. 10 minute walk to the park with the kids? That counts. The more you can move, the better!

The Connection

So what does this have to do with immune health? Everything! Exercise and nutrition are the most important factors under our control that can significantly impact our immune health for the better (1). And this positive impact applies at any age and stage of life, even though immune health tends to decline with age. This should be incredibly EMPOWERING to learn that adding moderate exercise to your lifestyle can improve your immune health!

In fact, the “Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity” study found that moderate activity lowers the risk of upper respiratory tract infections or shortens the length of the illness! This is good news!

Let’s Define Moderate Activity

You might be thinking, what is “moderate activity”? It’s quite simple: aerobic activity 3-5 times per week, 30-45 minutes in length. This includes: walking, running at an easy pace, using an elliptical trainer, walking on a treadmill, biking on level ground, swimming, ballroom dancing and line dancing (yep!).

Beyond Immune Health

And the amazing news about the ability of exercise to improve your health doesn’t stop at immune function, there is evidence that exercise can be used to positively impact 26 different diseases from anxiety to depression, dementia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer (2)! Mind blowing! And speaking of your mind, exercise also impacts brain growth (yep!). I’ll be writing a separate post on the amazing effects of exercise on the brain, it deserves its own space for discussion. 

Hopefully you’ll feel inspired to include movement in your day – however that may look for you. There are certainly plenty of online options available now and walking outside is a wonderful way to also get some fresh air and vitamin D. 


  1. Davison, Glen, et al. “Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 10, no. 3, 25 Nov. 2014, pp. 152–169., doi:10.1177/1559827614557773.
  2. Pedersen, B. K., and B. Saltin. “Exercise as Medicine – Evidence for Prescribing Exercise as Therapy in 26 Different Chronic Diseases.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, vol. 25, 25 Nov. 2015, pp. 1–72., doi:10.1111/sms.12581.


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