If you’re constantly coming down with colds or flu, the intensity of your workouts could be to blame.
Research shows that high-intensity exercise can actually compromise your immune system rather than strengthen it.
One study determined that while moderate exercise can lower the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, the risk is increased when greater demand is put on the body.
In fact, high-intensity exercise comprising 90 minutes of exercise or more can impair immunity for up to three days.
Now, before you hang up your gym shoes in defeat, there’s good news: certain herbs can act as effective natural immunity boosters, and are generally considered safe for most people.
Exercising at a steady pace three or four days a week is the smartest approach. But if you’re the type to take an aerobics class as a warmup to something a little more intense, you might want to take precaution and consider pre-exercise supplementation.
So how exactly do these herbs help? Some increase disease-fighting white blood cell levels, while others have natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Certain herbs can even alter the body’s stress response, which in turn indirectly strengthens the immune system.
A few tried-and-true natural remedies:
This multi-tasking herb increases the production of antibodies in the respiratory passages and protects against bacterial and viral infections. It also increases NK (natural killer) cells, which are a type of white blood cell.
Astragalus is a safe long-term immune support herb; plus it has a warming effect on the body, making it ideal for those who train outdoors.
Those with autoimmune disorders should use it with caution, as it can stimulate an already over-active immune system.
Classified as an adaptogenic herb, ginseng increases the body’s internal resistance to stress. Studies show that it can also shorten the duration and severity of colds and flu.
Out of all the varieties of ginseng, American is less stimulating and therefore more suitable for younger people. Diabetics and those taking blood-thinners or digoxin should consult with a healthcare provider before using.
Another adaptogenic herb, holy basil has antimicrobial properties and has been used in Indian traditional medicine for years to help increase energy, improve stress resistance and relieve coughs and cold. Diabetics and those taking heart or blood pressure medications should consult a doctor before using.
A primary herb for recovering from periods of exhaustion or illness. It’s an excellent rejuvenating tonic that helps to boost endurance while calming the nervous system.
Consumption of alcohol or sedatives is not recommended while taking this.
Also worth noting: It’s common for herbs to have more than one healing property. Make natural remedies part of your workout routine to help build up your immune system – and help keep illness at bay. CanPrev’s Cold-Pro™ contains astragalus, American ginseng plus five other potent, immune-boosting nutrients and anti-viral and antibacterial herbs. Take Cold-Pro™ to help maintain immune system function and relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infection.
CanPrev immunity boosters for cold & flu prevention and management
Visit our website to find these, and our other favourite immunity-boosting and cold-fighting products.