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VERIFY: Does frequent regular exercise weaken your immune system?

No, regular exercise isn’t going to weaken your immune system and leave you vulnerable to COVID-19. Just remember not to overdo it.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION: 

Does frequent regular exercise weaken your immune system?

 

ANSWER: 

No, regular exercise isn’t going to weaken your immune system and leave you vulnerable to COVID-19.

 

SOURCES:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Institutes of Health

The Journal of Sport and Health Science

PROCESS:

While we do our best to protect against the coronavirus, there’s a phrase worth bringing up – can you have too much of a good thing?

In this case, let’s talk about exercise. A lot of us are trying to stay active while stuck at home, knowing the benefits a healthy routine can have on our bodies, especially when it comes to fighting viruses.

But could you be over-doing it? To verify if frequent regular exercise can weaken your immune system, our team looked through the above sources.

First, the CDC says adults should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week, plus some muscle-strengthening activities two days a week.

Plenty of research also shows exercise can boost our body’s immune system.

According to a study from researcher David Nieman, noted by CBS News, moderate-intensity physical activity can improve one's ability to fight viruses and "reduces morbidity and mortality from viral infection and respiratory illnesses including the common cold, pneumonia, and influenza."

But what about ramping up the intensity? Can that cause any damage and put your body at risk? Well, there’s no conclusive data saying you might be doing more harm than good once you cross a certain training line.

One study, for example, from the NIH argues that immunosuppression is less about overtraining and more about a combination of other factors like anxiety, diet, and sleep.

Ultimately, we can verify – no, regular exercise isn’t going to weaken your immune system and leave you vulnerable to COVID-19. Steady exercise is going to do more good than bad.

Just remember to not over-do it.

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