As we head into fall season and cooler weather, your mind turns to outdoor activity, beautiful fall weather, and then your inspiration is stopped dead in its tracks by the dreaded head cold and flu that you anticipate will hinder exercise and fun.

It’s a legitimate concern. According to a recent Seasonal Influenza report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year.”

Oh my! That alone is enough to send me running! ..which is good, because exercise alone boosts your immunity! …and it’s a whole lot better than getting a flu shot!

While today’s blog might normally be something to inspire you physically, instead the focus is on staying well through fitness. There is a great deal of research showing the positive effect of exercise to boost your immunity.

We already intuitively know that exercise contributes to weight loss, lowers blood pressure, improves cardiovascular health, and increases circulation. In one study, participants who engaged in interval training lost 28% more body fat than those who didn’t! Exercise boosts weight loss and health. Exercise allows your cells to move freely throughout your body to do their job, both for overall health and for immunity.

Immunity is a complex system, however. It’s not the result of one organ or function, rather it’s a collection of your many lifestyle practices: diet, exercise, age, sleep, stress, and more. This is both good news and bad. With such complexities involving many variables, even just one “hole” in your immune system, you certainly fall susceptible to the dreaded seasonal flu and other diseases.
Daily exercise is one easy way to boost your immunity.
Just moderate exercise several times weekly will boost your immune system.
There are many scientific studies that document the increased level of white blood cells following just short bouts of exercise, and it’s not just isolated to running! That’s right…you don’t have to run a marathon to be healthy!
Take the study in which 33 swimmers (males, ages 9 to 17 years of age) showed increases in their white blood cell counts following just a short bit of intensive exercise. That’s great news, both because white blood cells fight infection and because it took only a short amount of exercise. A similar study was conducted with young, asthmatic teens in which with only 6 minutes of exercise, their blood markers showed a dramatic increase in leucocytes and lymphocytes..their white blood cells. Studies consistently show this increase in immunity from elderly to athletes to youngsters.
Exercise works!…It absolutely increases the number of immune cells and circulates these cells to fight off bacteria in your body.
The above being true, according to research, there’s also a certain point at which too much exercise (from elite athletes, in particular) can actually have the opposite effect in which following intensive training or competition, their immunity drops off and “compromised their resistance to common minor illnesses, such as upper respiratory tract infection.”
Happily, you can exercise AND you can also incorporate complementary medicinal practices by using whole foods to boost your immunity and to stave off illnesses.
Chlorella, a single-celled blue green algae
as well as nutritional yeast are two foods shown to improve immunity.
Following a study in which healthy Koreans were given chlorella tablets for eight weeks, there was a 10% increase in pathogen fighting cells.  The same has been noted in athletes. And if you’re not sold on algae, try Nutritional Yeast. With its natural cheesy taste, nutritional yeast can boost your immunity and even your emotional sense of daily well-being.
Researchers have put that one to the test too by following marathoners in the weeks following their race! According to Dr. Michael Gregor,  these runners had just “half the rates of upper-respiratory infection as compared to other marathoners taking a placebo!” It appears just one spoonful a day can cut your risk of infection in half! Sprinkled on popcorn, salad, pasta, or pizza, nutritional yeast is a yummy way to beat illness! My homemade vegan parmesan cheese is an amazing recipe using nutritional yeast, which can be incorporated into you daily routine.
It’s not revolutionary….EXERCISE AND DIET will keep you well!
If you are ready to take your health to the next level, click the links below to redeem my health coaching $50 discount towards the purchase of Chlorella, or Core Four Nutrition . My health coaching code “pacerkristen” gives you $50 or 25% off (the greater of the two) any Superfood at