Relieving Stress by Exercise - Stress and the Immune System

There are very few issues in health, fitness and diet that are completely solved. Results of current research would often be in contradiction to the results of previous ones. This goes on and on that nothing really gets resolved. However, the link between exercise and the immune system is one of the issues that past and present studies agree on.

While there is not one researcher or someone in the medical field who will attest that exercise can repair an immune system that is weakened or diseased, most studies do confirm that the immune system can be sustained or strengthened by moderate exercise even if the effects are not direct.

Many studies have focused on the role that exercise plays in relieving stress and how it affects health. However, the results of these studies are often unclear that the different studies appear to contradict each other. However, when we look at the conclusions, these studies say that moderate and regular exercise does help the immune system since the effects of stress are managed better.

The last three decades have brought about some interesting studies on health. These studies have found that a constant level of elevated stress can cause damage to the body. Individuals who deal with high stress tend to become sicker than others, have stomach and digestion issues, and are more fatigued. Fatigue is more of an indirect issue because it is really a result of not being able to have adequate or quality sleep.

Studies also show that getting into a regular exercise routine can take some of the stress away. Exercise is known to improve the cardiovascular system and endocrine system, which in turn improves blood circulation and removes toxins from the muscles and organs, keeping the kidneys functioning well. Exercise also removes germs, as well as encourage antibodies to circulate. Exercising raises the body temperature a little. A rise in body temperature is actually the body's natural response to sickness such as colds, flu and others, as heat creates an internal environment wherein germs cannot thrive. All these result to a healthier immune system, one that has a lower risk of being susceptible to diseases.

A research study conducted at the University of Colorado-Boulder says that moderate exercise will help stop the onset of colds. The study also showed that people who regularly engage in moderate exercise are less likely to fall ill after experiencing stressful situation. However, the study also found that exercising only on the same day as the stressful event does not have any beneficial effects. This particular research study was done on rats because these animals exhibit similar responses to that of humans.

When done right and on a regular basis, exercise programs can improve the body. An improved body image is likely to make an individual feel better about himself. When this happens, confidence levels go up and the individual is able to relax in any situation, thereby reducing stress and ultimately enhancing the immune system.

Whether the effects of exercising is direct or indirect, there is no question that exercising promotes a better immune system, directly leading to a better fitness level altogether.