Daily Exercise and Your Immune System

Exercise and the Immune System: How to Boost Your Body's Natural Defenses

Daily exercise is important for your immune system

Your immune system is your body's defense system against infection and disease. It's a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to identify and destroy harmful invaders like bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep your immune system healthy and strong. It helps to improve the function of immune cells, increase the production of antibodies, and promote inflammation reduction.

Here are some of the specific ways that exercise benefits the immune system:

  • Increases the number and activity of white blood cells. White blood cells are the frontline soldiers of the immune system. They're responsible for finding and destroying harmful invaders. Exercise helps to increase the number and activity of white blood cells, making them better able to protect your body from infection.
  • Boosts antibody production. Antibodies are protein molecules that attach to harmful invaders and help to destroy them. Exercise helps to boost the production of antibodies, making your body more resistant to infection.
  • Reduces inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can suppress the immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and promote immune health.
  • Improves circulation. Circulation is essential for the immune system to function properly. Exercise helps to improve circulation by increasing heart rate and blood flow. This helps to ensure that immune cells and other important molecules can travel throughout the body and do their job.
  • Reduces stress. Stress can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood. This can lead to better immune function and overall health.

How much exercise do you need to boost your immune system?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Any type of exercise is beneficial for the immune system, but some types are more effective than others. Aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, and biking, is particularly good for boosting the immune system. Strength training is also beneficial, but it's important to note that it can temporarily suppress the immune system after a workout.

Tips for getting the most out of your workouts

  • Warm up before you start exercising. This will help to prepare your body for activity and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Cool down after you finish exercising. This will help your body to recover and prevent muscle soreness.
  • Listen to your body and don't overdo it. If you're feeling tired or sore, take a break.
  • Make exercise a regular part of your routine. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.


Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system and protect yourself from illness. By exercising regularly, you can help to increase the number and activity of white blood cells, boost antibody production, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and reduce stress. All of these factors can contribute to a stronger and more resilient immune system.