HomeNewsArticle Display

Strengthen your immune system with exercise

Mom and son manipulate outdoor play equipment

Tiffany Singhisen, 52nd Medical Group case manager, and her son Aidan use teamwork to complete an outdoor exercise challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke J. Kitterman/Released)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE --

Exercise can have a profound impact on the normal functioning of the immune system. 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, performing regular bouts of cardiorespiratory exercise is shown to improve immune responses to vaccination, lower chronic low-grade inflammation and improve various immune markers in several disease states including obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

During each bout of exercise, particularly cardiorespiratory exercise, billions of immune cells are mobilized and circulate rapidly in our body. Immune cells that are mobilized with exercise work to increase our resistance to infection. Many of these immune cells are capable of carrying out functions such as the recognition and killing of virus-infected cells. 

While exercise may not prevent us from becoming infected if exposed to COVID-19, it is likely that keeping active will boost our immune system to help minimize the effects of the virus, lessen the symptoms, and expedite recovery times.  Exercise is especially important now during these challenging times because it can help reduce stress, prevent weight gain, and improve sleep. 

Here are some tips from the teams at health.gov to help you get moving with a physical activity program.