Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.
The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
Pretty cool, huh? Just don’t overdo it or that boost can turn into a weakened immune system.
When it’s cold outside, you shut the windows. Makes sense right? The problem, though, is your indoor air grows stale, you breathe the same air with the same allergens and germs. Breathing in that germy air over and over again simply isn’t good for your health; not to mention the myriad of chemicals and fragrances floating around off-gassing from your furniture.
With the average urban resident spending about 90% of their time indoors, indoor air quality (IAQ) is an increasingly important topic these days. Poor indoor air quality is linked to several health issues including respiratory issues (i.e. asthma), cognitive impairment (i.e. dizziness, cloudy thinking), reproductive development issues, frequent bouts with illness, even cancer. However, one simple way to improve your indoor air quality is to OPEN A WINDOW!
Good indoor air quality can not only improve your health, but can also help you live your best life. As shown in school settings, just by allowing outdoor air to come into the classroom, students achieve better results–14-15% higher on average–than students with lower rates of outdoor air allowed in the classroom. Imagine taking a “C+” student up to a “B” just by breathing in fresher air!
The evidence also suggests your work performance can improve just by improving your indoor air quality. If you’re looking for that next promotion, bump in pay or need to be as efficient as possible, open a window!
I know it’s cold during the fall and winter and heating bills can spin out of control. I’m not suggesting to leave a window open all day–that’s likely cost prohibitive and cold. However, when you open your windows (even for a few minutes) you get to replace the stale-germy-chemical laden air with fresh air. Plus you’ll be letting in a few probiotics to assist your immune system in its fight for health (that’s for another post).