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Walk, Bike, and Swim Your Way To Boosting Body Defenses

Walk, Bike, and Swim Your Way To Boosting Body Defenses

You know exercise builds muscles, strengthens bones, keeps your heart healthy and your mind sharp. But it also does something that you might not think much about: It helps keep your immune system — your internal defenses against infection — in tip-top shape.

If you take time for some physical exertion each day, it helps get your body ready to attack bacteria, viruses and toxins that can sneak in and make you sick.

But how much exercise is effective? Do too little or too much, and it won’t have the best effect on your immune system.

Q: How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?

A: If you exercise moderately on a regular basis, it tunes up the immune system in many ways. It enhances your broad-based defenses against viral infections, such as those causing upper respiratory infections.

Working out regularly also reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory illnesses and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Q: How much exercise do you need?

A: Fortunately, you don’t have to push yourself to the limit to rev up your immune system. In fact, your immune system needs less of a workout than you get with your average cardio routine.

Focus on getting 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week, and your immune system will thank you.

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