How exercise can boost your immune system
Inflammation may be an underlying cause of a wide range of diseases and disorders in both body and brain. Exercise is known to reduce several inflammatory markers, like c-reactive protein (CRP) and internleukin-6 (IL-6), which are linked to a number of diseases. The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise are likely one of the underpinnings of its effects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, neurodegenerative conditions and more.”
A study shows that a 20-minute moderate workout has measurable effects on the immune system*: Participants were asked to walk or jog on a treadmill, depending on their fitness level. They measured levels of TNF, an inflammatory marker, before and after the exercise, and found that there was a 5% reduction in the number of immune cells that produced the marker.
Once and awhile won’t do it. You really have to exercise regularly, since hormone levels largely return to baseline after you exercise. That said, there’s an effect that accrues over time, which is what you want to harness by being active at least a few times a week.