Training & Your Immune System

We’ve all heard it before “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We know now that there is more to it than that, just as we are still learning that the affect’s fitness has on our bodies, namely in this article your immune system.
I thought this appropriate since we are heading straight into the dead of cold and flu season. In my previous post, I spoke on how to Prime your immune system ahead of time so you have the best chance when you do run into such viruses. Now I want to discuss what effects regular fitness has on it as well.
   I do use the word “fitness” like I’m attempting to be general but let’s be honest, I mean working out or for the more enthusiastic amongst us, Training. For the record, although I don’t compete, I prefer “training” as well.

   If you don’t exercise, the benefits might seem obvious…a better lifestyle, better diet and weight/fat loss and of course my system is going to operate better…..but what if you already a pretty active person? Take me for example, I haven’t logged less than 15k steps at work in more than 10 years, but I continuously get sacked by sickness each season. Mind you I work in direct contact with the public so it’s pretty easy.

   The short of it is, well…there isn’t a short (insert sad emoji)

There are two main complications with this subject:
1) It’s widely known that regular exercise does have a benefit to boosting your immune system.
2) Research is…well…not quite sure how.

There are several theories. However, none of these theories have been proven. Some of these theories are:

Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.

Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.

The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)

Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
More on that study Here.

It is said that when you train, you create an inflammatory response, especially with resistance training, which leads to muscle growth and while your body is attempting to repair that damage, it is more susceptible to invasion.
   An article in Science Daily titled “Research debunks ‘myth‘ that strenuous exercise suppresses the immune system” basically says that the immune suppressing response is a myth. Mind you this was done on endurance athletes.

That moment…

So what’s a person to think? Well, for one thing, if your sick don’t get your snot on the gym equipment, that’s gross. Secondly, although its debatable on the overall intensity of the response, what isn’t a debate is that one happens.

The obvious is that you prevent some serious problems by performing regular exercises:
• Heart disease
• lower cholesterol
• increased bone density (resistance training)
• improved lung function
Side note — You ever see those people riding a bike and smoking? Yeah. Their not doing it right.

So we know it helps…how much is or just how is still under research. So let’s say you are sick and are just not feeling it. I’m going out on a limb and just say a dead lift PR is not happening…but that doesn’t mean your routine is scrapped.
Try focusing on what can benefit you when you do get back up and running. My favorite is Mobility Training or straight up Flexibility work. This can be done just sitting in a room, on the lawn, your bed…wherever.

Wrap it up!
• Workout Regularly to increase immune system.
• listen to your body.
Keep it simple. The general rule of the gym jungle is “if its from the neck up, go for it. Chest down, take some time off.” I think this is pretty good advice. If you are just not feeling it, don’t push it. Loss of gains, strength or inches is so minimal that it’s not worth it.

*As always, It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. He or she might have advice on what exercises are safe and any precautions you might need to take while exercising.

Workers Guide to Workplace Illness

By Matt L.

Bacteria in petri dish

Sick season is upon us. Now more and more people are falling ill in the fall/winter and as a working professional, what does that mean for you and why do we tend to get sick in these colder months?

As we go further into fall and steadily into winter more and more people find themselves spending a larger amount of time indoors and in close quarters. Add that to a more desirable replicating temperature for common viruses and viola! Recipe for disaster. Now as a working professional this greatly affects you. Most viruses are actually transmittable before you even know you have them.
   As someone who works directly with the public daily, I see it all. Coughing, sniffling, some half dead. The urge or need to buy is too great and let’s be honest, hygiene in the public space is tough enough on a good day. Even if you are a domestic engineer, self-employed or just chilling at home, you will inevitably encounter the victims of illness hot zones. By trade, some are more susceptible than others but for the most part. So what’s a surefire way to help reduce the chances?

Start In The Summer: Don’t wait until your sick to work on your immune system. Imagine your working on a project and your halfway through and then you decide to do some planning. A little late. Now same project but you do your staging and planning beforehand, much smoother process, but how to do this? Easiest and most commonly done way:
Vitamin UP! Vitamin C and Zinc are among the most popular methods by strengthening a healthy immune response and helping to fight off complications like pneumonia. There are lesser known methods. Did you know, Glutathione helps keep your body strong? Glutathione: supports immune function, breaking down some free radicals, helping certain enzymes function, regenerating vitamins C and E, transporting mercury out of the brain. It recycles cells so they can do their job longer!
Black Elderberry: Immune System boosting. Elderberries are particularly rich in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins which are responsible for their deep purple (almost black) coloring. Cold/Flu fighting ninja berry! Also, helps with Cystitis/Urinary Tract/Bladder Infections, Allergy Relief and Digestive Health.
*A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of Sambucol yielded surprising results: found here

• Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus

• Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days

Note: The study was not funded in any way by the company which produces and markets the product of Sambucol in Israel.

Of course these are things you can take…a more tangible route. Stress though…the silent destroyer of your immune system; can you take something that doesn’t require a prescription and an excessively long list of side effects? Something that’ll help reduce stress, boost immune function and improve performance? Enter Ashwagandha. This Herb is not only the real thing but has been studied and backed by science. Classified as an “adaptogen” is conforms perfectly to your needs. The short of it is, it reduces stress but also boost performance so you can combat immune suppressing stress without sacrificing vital energy needed to get the job done. It can:

• Reduce Blood Sugar Levels. …

• Has Anti-Cancer Properties. …

• Reduce Cortisol Levels. …

• May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety. …

• May Reduce Symptoms of Depression. …

• Can Boost Testosterone and Increase Fertility in Men.

Not bad for a ditch weed in India, right? Read more on that article here

Elderberry Facts

All this information goes doubly so if you work in certain professions. For example, School teachers deal with kids who, lets face it, draw germs in like they are generating their own germ gravity. Plus they deal with the very real vaccine shedding, which brings it’s own complications. Then there are retail jobs. People love to/got to shop…this is especially true if you work in Grocery. Keeping your immune system primed and strong is not a seasonal thing anymore. Cashier’s, office worker’s sharing equipment, restaurant workers, all in constant public contact, all with a higher percent chance of getting sick and costing them hours or days of pay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or $1,685 per employee. In 2017

Regular hand washing and hand sanitizer is one thing, but a life routine of taking care of yourself is better. The best defense is a good offense. Go on the attack, stay on the attack. Aside from that, eat whole foods. Avoid processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, etc. To keep you functioning at peak level. A regular fitness routine will also reduce stress and increase immune responses. More on those specifics and how you can fit it into a busy Lifestyle in a future article.

Thanks for reading