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How Working Out Benefits Your Overall Health During Flu Season

How Working Out Benefits Your Overall Health During Flu Season

merritt_group_1911-19Many people attest that the flu season (also known as “respiratory virus season” due to the addition of RSV and COVID-19) is directly correlated with the colder weather. While lower temperatures are a contributing factor to catching this highly contagious respiratory condition, other lifestyle changes occur during these months that increase our risk of catching respiratory diseases. For example, we tend to hunker down inside and avoid sunlight which provides our bodies with Vitamin D. We also remain less physically active.

Working out all year long is one of the best preventative measures you can take for any illness. The CDC has done thorough research on influenza activity and has determined the months of December through February as being “peak flu season”. Don’t let the cold bring you into hibernation. Read on to learn more about the benefits of working out during this season.

Working Out Helps You Sleep Better

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is critical in building our immune response. As we sleep, our bodies exert immune-supportive functions, fighting off infections and inflammation.  Keep this in mind the next time you justify staying up late to working hard and hustling – you’ll be able to work more efficiently with adequate sleep. Exercising 30 minutes a day, five times a week can significantly improve sleep quality.

Working Out Decreases Risk of Disease

All individuals can benefit from implementing a workout into their daily routine. Exercising aids in weight management which can help prevent diseases like diabetes and a slew of other health issues like sleep apnea. It also decreases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Individuals who have underlying conditions are more likely to get sick and or heal from infectious diseases such as the flu.

Working Out Makes Vaccines More Effective

Your body’s antibody response (how strong and quickly it can fight off infection) is determined by a variety of factors. While genetics and age play a large role in having a strong response, your overall health does as well. Research shows that individuals who exercised 150 minutes a week were protected by the vaccine 25% better than those who did not.

Working Out Decreases Stress

Exercise is an incredible thing to do for your body’s physical and mental health. Once you start a healthy routine, you will soon begin to crave the incredible feeling you get after the hard work is done. Physical exercise reduces the production of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and increases the production of “happy” hormones called endorphins. Having poor mental health can manifest into physical symptoms which can negatively impact your immune system.

Working Out Helps Your Liver

Our liver is a critical component of our overall health. The liver’s primary purpose is to act as a filtration system for our body – it breaks down toxins found in items such as alcohol and medications. Your liver does a lot of work so it’s only natural that it takes a bit of a hit including building up fat. While it’s not an extreme risk, it can worsen over the years. Regular exercise can reduce liver fat which will allow it to continue being an important wheelhouse of your body and properly store vitamins and other nutrients.

Work Out with Merritt Clubs

The great thing about a healthy workout routine is that it can reverse fatal conditions like heart disease. Merritt Clubs can assist you with guidance on living a healthy life with a Nutrition and Wellness program. Group fitness class instructors and personal trainers are also on hand to give tips and knowledge on workout routines.