Lifewatch: Exercise boosts immune system

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - While getting a flu shot can help you stay healthy during the cold winter months, diet and exercise can play an important role as well.

Not only does color help cheer up a cold winter day, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more colorful, the better it is for your health.

"The deep greens, yellows, oranges have a lot of vitamin C in them and a lot of vitamin A, and they have immune boosting properties, some people know them as anti-oxidants," said dietician Dr. Don Mankie.

Carbohydrates also help boost the immune system, as long as you are taking a bite of fruit, oatmeal, or whole grains.

"A lot of studies, they have found a high fat diet like 38% fat in the diet can stress the immune system," said Mankie.

The right amount of exercise can rid your body of stress, which in turn alleviates the level of cortisol in your body.

"When you have too much cortisol in your body, basically your immune system and the white blood cells can't function like they should," said trainer Jesse Hilmandolar.

Working out too hard can cause your body more stress, so it's important to find out the workout that fits you best.  When you work out, you work up a sweat, which can also fight germs.

"With that increase in temperature, you can help fight off some of the bacteria from forming," Hilmandolar.

As you fight through the flu season, you may find yourself on track to a healthier lifestyle well after the winter months thaw.