Strong Muscles Means Strong Immunity


cut cancerMost people are aware that their immune system is responsible for detecting and fighting off infections.

But, did you know that it also detects and destroys cancer cells?

Amazing but true…part of the immune system’s function is to locate and destroy tumor cells before they get out of control.

Strength training can increase both the number and the amount of activity of several different types of immune cells-especially the ones whose primary jobs are to detect and destroy cancerous and virus-infected cells.

When the heart rate is increased, this in turn helps remove germs and speeds the circulation of antibodies and white blood cells (natural killer cells) through the body.

Research has shown that white blood cell counts can increase by as much as 50-300 percent after a vigorous exercise session.

Strength training is an even better choice in building the immune system because it works to build muscle and muscle tissue is crucially important for immune function in two ways:

  • Muscle is the primary site in the body where glutamine is formed. Glutamine is an amino acid that is used as a necessary fuel source by many cells of the immune system-without it, they cannot function.
  • Building lean muscle tissue is the body’s only way of storing protein.

In fact, there is no other way for your body to build up a reserve of extra protein. Extra protein is essential when you get sick because your body will draw on it to produce the new antibodies and white blood cells that you need to fight off an infection or find and attack cancerous cells.

If you don’t do strength training to maintain your muscles now, they will shrink as you grow older and you will lose your ability to create the cells you will need to fight off illness.

This is the primary reason that older people have more difficulty recovering from illnesses and injuries…they have lost too much of their muscle so they don’t have any reserve of protein to call on if they get sick or injured.

In addition, during a vigorous exercise session, the temporary elevation of the body temperature may inhibit bacterial growth allowing the body to fight the infection more effectively.

Last but not least, exercise slows down the release of stress-related hormones, and stress hampers the immune system, increasing the chance of illness.

Often times when people experience stress or depression, they actually get physically sick from it.  The immune system slows down when stress hormones are released.

Exercise helps reduce stress hormones and releases good hormones. Regular exercise also helps relieve stress directly by providing an outlet for and consuming much of the nervous energy produced by stress. It can also help by shifting one’s focus away from the external factors producing the stress.

All of these things have a positive effect on the immune system by lessening the body’s susceptibility to disease, while increasing the robustness of the immune system itself.

Muscles are not just for looks! They are essential components to the proper function of your immune system. They can literally save your life! And, the only way to keep them as you grow older is through strength training.

Would you like to find out right now if there is an invisible threat hanging over your head? Find out just how vulnerable you are right now to developing some form of cancer in the future.

Take this 1 minute test to find out how you fare on the Cancer Risk Scale.