Yep, another winter season and with it the flu, colds and many other illnesses around. But, are we all prone to get sick? Why some people hardly ever catch a cold whilst others catch everything that moves in the air?
Is there a reason behind this and if so can we relate fitness and the resilience to illness?
Your common sense will tell you that fit and trained individuals developed a much more efficient immune system. They are ‘physically stronger’ and thus able to fight germs and bacteria successfully. If you think of someone strong or fit you should consider not just big muscles but a bigger heart and a super optimised cardio vascular system, bigger lung capacity.
Without getting into a lot of complexity there are two things to point out in here:
Sweating and the heart pumping.
Yes these two things only happen when you move and practise sports or activities. Stress and/or shock do not count in this context.
Sweating is not just water; it helps killing toxic substances and bacteria, same as tears or saliva. It is like a cleanse for the body.
The other thing is that your heart increases its rhythm provoking a much more blood flow and thus helping to move more rapidly the white cells. If these white cells are faster they can detect ‘danger cells’ or pathogens more efficiently, preventing the potential illness.
Adding to that:
1- an increase in body temperature, great to kill bacteria -same as when you have temperature-
2- lesser amount of stress-related hormones due to the exercise
3- greater amount of wellbeing or happy hormones -endorphins- especially at the end of the work-out.
Exercising regularly will prevent you from being overweight, one of the main causes of illnesses in the modern era. This is why exercise in moderation and sensible eating will give you another healthy winter.
Prevention, prevention, prevention!