1Life Blog

Coronavirus: boost your immunity through exercise

Posted by Paul Rayner on 12-Mar-2020 13:46:03
Paul Rayner

As the UK braces for a coronavirus epidemic and hand sanitizer and handwashing are all we can talk about it seems there has never been a better time to focus on ways to boost our immunity and keep ourselves as fit and healthy as possible. The key to overcoming COVID-19 or coronavirus as well as other coughs and colds is ensuring our bodies are as healthy as possible.

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Our bodies are wonderful biological machines and cleverly equipped with a number of defence barriers to protect us from certain bugs. Leading a healthy lifestyle help to ensure these defences are working as they should be and to the best of their ability. Apart from eating a healthy, balanced diet, rich in nutrients, staying hydrated and getting plenty of good, quality sleep each night (7-9 hours), another way of boosting your immunity, which sometimes gets overlooked, is by exercising regularly.

A recent study of 1,000 people found that remaining active can as much as half the chance of catching colds and other viruses and can make the symptoms of the illness less severe, aiding recovery. White blood cells are responsible for protecting us from bugs and viruses, but they can be relatively sedentary. Moderate exercise increases blood flow around the body and causes a temporary rise in the number of white blood cells being circulated, thus mobilising these defence cells to help to fight off infection. Don’t be fooled into thinking a walk once a week will help you avoid any illnesses as your white blood cells do reduce again after a few hours but with each rise in white blood cells can boost your immune system enough fight off infections such as colds and other viruses.

The NHS recommends that adults should be physically active in some way every day, and aim to do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, gardening or cycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, such as running, fast swimming or a cardio exercise class. The advice, for older people, or if you are new to exercise, is to do whatever exercise is possible and for however long it is comfortable for. Even shorter stints throughout the day can be beneficial to your health, so start out slow but remember, any exercise is better than nothing when it comes to improving your physical and immunity health.

As with anywhere, care should be taken to thoroughly wash your hands after using gym equipment. 1Life promotes good hygiene at its centres by providing hand sanitizer stations throughout its gyms for its members to use while working out as well as increasing its cleaning rotas.

We already know that exercise can have a positive impact on confidence, self-esteem and mental health but boosting your immune system is another great reason to get active. If you are interested in joining a 1Life gym, visit to find your local centre www.1life.co.uk