The immune system is a highly complex network of cells and molecules designed to protect man from infection and other diseases. In this context, Bektaş and Yücel revealed the effects of exercise on the immune system with their study. Dr Bektaş said,
“While the immune system functions increase with mild and moderate exercise, the immune system is suppressed after excessively intense and prolonged exercise. Exercise positively affects the Th1 / Th2 cytokine balance, which is a molecule that plays a role in immunity, and enables the release of muscle-derived beneficial cytokines.”
MICROORGANISMS ENTER THE BODY IN HEAVY EXERCISE
Still, Dr Underlining that the effect of exercise on immune system functions is determined by many variables such as the intensity, duration, intensity of the exercise and the physical fitness level of the individual, Bektaş said, “Acute, high-intensity exercise, such as a non-training person playing a football field match, has a significantly negative effect on the immune system. The connection between the immunity changes associated with heavy exercise and susceptibility to infections is called the ‘open window’ period. This period lasts 3-72 hours depending on the type, intensity, duration and immunity level of the exercise. In this open window period, when immunity worsens, microorganisms can enter the body and cause infections. For this, more attention should be paid to avoiding overload, and for elite athletes, rest and nutrition during this period,” he said.
Stating that there is currently no scientific data about the effects of exercise on the newly released Kovid-19, Dr Bektaş said, “However, there is evidence that exercise can protect humans from many other viral infections, including influenza, cold, herpes-simplex-virus-1 (HSV-1) known as herpes virus, chickenpox-zoster (VZV), etc. known as shingles.”
HALF HOURS EVERY DAY
Yücel said, “Light-medium intensity exercise can be half an hour of walking/cycling every day. Dealing with yoga-pilates or gardening with treadmill and bicycle at home,” said Yücel.
Image (1) courtesy of Cleveland Clinic.