MUNICH — (MunichNOW Fitness) —The world is slowly opening again and, I think for most of us, this time away from our regular routine has been enlightening to say the least. For us, the sudden and overwhelming amount of fitness-related content on social media has been impressive.
Everyone seems to have decided, as most people do at New Year’s, that during this lockdown, they’d get super fit, do all the organizing and other household things that have been put off for so long, and be their best selves. (#doALLthethings)
The intention is great, but that’s a lot of stress! Perhaps even you started out watching and participating in some of those free online sessions and made a plan to do at least one of them every day. But then Netflix and work and kids and all the other things just got in the way and well, the fitness thing just didn’t make the cut.
While life does have a tendency to throw us pandemic size curve-balls, it’s good to remember that fitness doesn’t have to be let go or overdone to maintain your overall health: So, don’t be so hard on yourself for missing out on all that online content. There are many benefits to just getting out and going for a nice walk or throwing/kicking a ball back and forth with your kids.
As it so happens, staying active and going to the gym can be more than just a way to get your body to look or feel a certain way; research suggests that exercise can actually boost your immune system, which is great news during this historic event.
BUT, HOW, YOU ASK?
Well, let’s get into just a few of the science-y bits:First, your body has antibodies and white blood cells which are your natural defense system. Think of them like your own private ninja army. Now, if you do regular exercise it’s like giving them the necessary training and some nun-chucks to make them stronger and circulate faster to, in theory, detect illness earlier and deal with the threat before it can do too much damage.Next up, good old Oxygen. Physical activity, as many already know, increases oxygen intake; Like when you’re running late and you’ve got to sprint to make the bus/train/plane. Or you’re attending one of our HIIT classes and you feel like you might die, but you’re still breathing? Those periods of short extra oxygen intake may actually help flush out bacteria from your airways and reduce your chances of catching things.
Finally, I think we can all agree that stress is the worst: There’s actually a specific stress hormone that contributes to making us feel unhappy/anxious etc., but if that weren’t bad enough, it can also increase your chance of illness. See? The worst. I think by this point you can see where this is all going, but studies have shown that moderate exercise slows down the release of these hormones.
You might now be thinking to yourself, “Crap! I should have done ALL the training during lockdown!” To that, I say, yes and no. As mentioned previously, just incorporating a circuit like ours once or twice a week and some walking can be enough to boost the immune system. On the flip side, if you do too much training, it can actually increase stress on your body which as we now know, isn’t ideal. You want to aim to do a regular and moderate amount of training and of course keep a healthy, balanced diet, but that’s a topic for another post. 😉
So how should you move forward to maintain health or improve your immune system during this time?
Book time in our Private Gym Program right here in Munich!
Check out one or two of our circuit classes!
Catch up with a friend and go for a walk, maybe even try to go for a hike with our Trail Fit Club. You can also sign up for a personal training session to learn some weight lifting techniques to really get that ninja army ready. Whatever you choose, your Evolve Team will be right there with you for support.
Further information on exercise and the immune system can be found here.
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of regular fitness and fitness-related posts from Evolve Fitness in Munich.