The amount of exercise needed to benefit your overall health is really quite reasonable. As little as twenty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three to four days a week can improve your health. You may be wondering what exactly exercise has to do with your immune system. Even though there is still much that we don’t know about this vital system, there is evidence that keeping it healthy is important in the fight against cancer.
A 2002 study conducted out of Iowa State University and reported in the Journal of Gerontology, studied how the body, more specifically the immune system, reacted when an influenza vaccine was administered to elderly adults. The group was divided by their level of physical activity. Active adults were defined as those that did “vigorous” exercise for more than twenty minutes three times a week. Moderate adults were defined as having a regular exercise regiment, but not “vigorous”. The final group was defined as sedentary and did not exercise.
Two weeks after the vaccine was administered, the active group had the most favorable response. The body was able to produce the best amount of antibodies and other immune-mediated factors. The moderate exercisers fared much better than those that were sedentary; however, not as well as their active counterparts.
Every day discoveries are made in the fight against cancer. Regardless of modern medical advances, preventative steps you can take are the best route to staying healthy. True, not everyone that exercises will avoid cancer. However, if a moderate exercise routine is shown to help your disease-fighting immune system, it just makes sense to get out and get your body moving!
2002 Study, Journal of Gerontology Series
by: Kohut, J>, Cooper MM< Nickolaus MS, Russell DR, Cunnick JE