We all want a healthy immune system, one that’s balanced. A balanced immune system is one that fights foreign invaders, like bacteria and viruses, without overreacting and damaging normal tissue, as happens with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. A variety of factors can impact immune function. For example, lack of sleep and stress can temporarily suppress the immune system. But, what about exercise, more specifically, resistance training?
Strength Training Session Induces Important Changes on Physiological, Immunological, and Inflammatory Biomarkers
A number of studies have looked at the impact of aerobic training on the immune system. The consensus is that moderate aerobic exercise has a beneficial impact on immune function and may even lower the risk of developing an upper respiratory infection, like a cold. Yet, intense exercise or exercise of long duration, like a marathon has the opposite effect. It decreases the body’s defenses against infection and may increase the risk of catching a pesky case of the sniffles or, even worse, the flu. The greatest harm to immune function is training exhaustively without giving your body time to recover.
There’s a cumulative effect whereby an exhaustive workout followed closely by another exhaustive workout compounds the negative impact training heavily has on the immune system. Over-training without adequate recovery suppresses the activity of natural killer cells, cells that fight viruses and helps keep tumor cells from gaining a foothold in the body. You don’t want them to fall down on the job! With aerobic exercise, it’s a J-shaped curve. Moderate exercise benefits the immune system and the activity of natural killer cells while over-training interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
So much for aerobic exercise. What about resistance training? Training your body against resistance causes a different set of adaptations to take place and has a different impact on the body. But, how does resistance impact the immune system and the ability of the immune system to fight off infection?
Resistance Training and the Immune System
Not surprisingly, most of the studies looking at the effect exercise has on the immune system have focused on endurance exercise. Immune health is an issue of concern, especially for people who do exhaustive exercise, like running marathons or ultra-marathons. However, few studies have focused on the effect resistance training has on immune cell activity.
Recent research shows that resistance training session transiently increases the number of circulating immune cells that help protect the body against infection. These cells are part of the body’s innate immune system and include certain types of white blood cells and natural killer cells. This isn’t surprising since some of these cells, like monocytes & neutrophils, help to repair damaged muscle tissue after a strength workout. This upgraded immune activity is less pronounced in older people due to the impact of aging on the immune system.
Our immune systems age, just as the rest of our body does, a process called immunosenescence. One study even suggested the enhanced release of immune cells after weight training might be a way to boost the less robust immune response that older people experience.
From all the studies, what is clear is that exhaustive weight training or over-training has a negative effect on immune health. This is why the Adapt X1 is perfectly suited to give you a convenient resistance home workout in the comfort of your own environment. We don't focus on big heavy weights. Our device provides a full body workout with what we call 'constant force'. With a focus on form you can get an amazing resistance workout that will kick start your immunity.
But the benefits don't stop there!
Researchers have known for some time that aerobic exercise could significantly reduce symptoms of depression without any of the negative side effects associated with some medications. (Cardio exercise also has many positive effects on physical health, of course.)
Resistance training, also known as weight or strength training, can reduce symptoms of depression, according to a new meta-analysis of studies.
Now, in a review of studies newly published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers say that resistance training can also help treat depression. From their analysis, in fact, it seems to work just as well as aerobic exercise.
This is a significant finding, since it’s the first systematic analysis of top-quality studies that assess the effects of resistance training on depression. Plus, it shows that people get mental-health benefits from a type of exercise researchers say is crucial for maintaining muscle mass as you age.
Get the benefits of resistance training today from the Adapt X1!