Exercise and immunity is clearly a timely topic right now.
“Each bout of exercise, particularly whole-body dynamic cardiorespiratory exercise, instantaneously mobilizes literally billions of immune cells, especially those cell types that are capable of carrying out effector functions such as the recognition and killing of virus-infected cells.”
That quote is from an article on Immunity and Exercise during COVID from the American College of Sports Medicine. As we leave the more active months of summer behind and head indoors, keeping our immune system mobilized is uniquely important this year. We’ve talked about immune boosting foods already on the Cornerstone blog, but I don’t want to ignore this other crucial aspect of boosting immunity – regular exercise.
It almost should go without saying . . .
Exercise = Better Health
But in the cacophony of news, stressful life changes and fear that fills our minds, we can sometimes miss basic truths. It is in these moments especially necessary that we reground in these basics, give ourselves a gentle reminder of what has kept us well in the past and translate that into our present and future.
Our exercise routines may not look exactly as they did before. We may not join classes of 30 others in Indoor Cycling (personally, I miss doing this so much!), but that doesn’t mean we need to give up on doing anything at all. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150–300 min of moderate to vigorous intensity cardiorespiratory physical activity per week and two sessions per week of muscle strength training. So how can you make that transition? Here’s a few ideas:
Work with a Trainer:
In times of change, exercise professionals are a valuable resource for safely establishing a workout routine. Our Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Director Joanna Abbott says she stresses the importance of strength training to her clients – “It is proven to lower stress and fight off different diseases.” At Cornerstone, we’ve established safety protocols in the clubs to allow members to comfortably work one on one onsite. We have also worked with all of our trainers to establish best practices for virtual training for those who are not yet ready to come back into the club.
Take a Walk:
It’s so basic. But, the health benefits of a brisk walk can’t be understated. Add in a route with hills or stairs or pick up the pace and that’s even better. Even in colder weather, walking can get your heart rate up and provide a bonus dose of Vitamin D.
Come In – or Zoom In – to a Class:
Working out together is a motivator for many and that hasn’t changed during this challenging time. If you visit the clubs, you’ll find that we have added extra safety protocols and set strict capacity limits . Whether it is Group Power or Yoga, there’s a blue dot on the floor ready and waiting for you! On Zoom, we can still work together as the Cornerstone community – from Group Active to Barre, our online class schedule has an array of options to keep you moving!
Join a Challenge:
There’s a reason several hospital systems in our area have started fitness challenges. They work! Actually, YOU WORK! Join with a friend. Challenge a frenemy. Find a team! Whatever gets you going – GO!
We know better than anyone that exercise isn’t exactly easy these days. Exercise has always been work but, like always, it’s worth it!
Boost your energy, boost your immunity and boost your health!
Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor
Need some health and fitness advice? Looking for some motivation to keep you going? Just need an ear to bend? Contact one of our Wellness Coaches – they are here to help you!
New Hope – Michael Strouse, 215.862.2200
Doylestown – Morgan Fink, 215.794.3700
Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.
For more information, visit nih.gov for the latest research: Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature.