Although there have been hundreds of studies on physical exercise and the immune system, there is little direct evidence on its connection to illness. Epidemiological evidence suggests that moderate exercise has a beneficial effect on the human immune system; an effect which is modeled in a J curve. Moderate exercise has been associated with a 29% decreased incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), but studies of marathon runners found that their prolonged high-intensity exercise was associated with an increased risk of infection occurrence. However, another study did not find the effect. Immune cell functions are impaired following acute sessions of prolonged, high-intensity exercise, and some studies have found that athletes are at a higher risk for infections. Studies have shown that strenuous stress for long durations, such as training for a marathon, can suppress the immune system by decreasing the concentration of lymphocytes. The immune systems of athletes and nonathletes are generally similar. Athletes may have slightly elevated natural killer cell count and cytolytic action, but these are unlikely to be clinically significant.
What type of exercise do you enjoy? – Do you love to dance? Do you like ballroom moves or hip hop? Do you enjoy martial arts inspired moves like kickboxing? Do you prefer walking? There are so many varieties of exercise videos available that you can find many that cater to the type of exercise you like to do. Don’t get locked into only one form though because learning something new can keep you from getting workout burnout. This is one of the reasons a popular exercise series called P90X3 is so popular. Every day you will have a new form of exercise to look forward to.
Although there is research concluding the effectiveness of the Alfredson protocol, some individuals find the completion of 180 repetitions of exercise daily to be difficult to achieve. A study in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy indicated that a modified version of the Alfredson protocol with a "do as much as tolerated" approach achieved similar positive results as the full 180 repetition protocol.
Before starting a weight training program, be sure to learn the proper form. Start light, with just one or two pounds. You should be able to lift the weights 10 times with ease. After a couple of weeks, increase that by a pound or two. If you can easily lift the weights through the entire range of motion more than 12 times, move up to slightly heavier weight.
Jumping and throwing moves, punches, kicks, and swinging a club or a racket all require power, which comes from your core—and, yes, causes those ab muscles to cinch. "The core is the crossroads of your system, helping transfer force between your upper and lower body," says Rick Richey, a faculty member for the National Academy of Sports Medicine in New York City. Add medicine ball throws to your sets: A study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found they are ideal core strengtheners. (Don't just stop at tossing, medicine balls can be used for a full body workout.)
The physical benefits of Pilates include an increase in muscle strength and tone without creating bulk. The increase in deep core muscle strength helps to make your abdominal muscles look tight and toned. It also improves your flexibility and posture, which can decrease your chances of injuring yourself. Pilates is also effective in easing chronic lower back pain and preventing future back pain and injuries.
What if we told you that you could get a kick-ass cardio workout that would keep you on your toes, without even leaving the house? Better still: The steps are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, so you can adjust as needed. And the bodyweight-only moves are mostly low impact, meaning you can do them in the comfort of your own living room without worrying about annoying the downstairs neighbors.