While the COVID-19 pandemic is still on and most of us are still not hitting the gym or dance centers, you can choose to pick some fun and easy exercises or workouts to reduce physical stress and fatigue. Exercising will not only keep you physically and mentally fit, but it might also help improve and strengthen your immune system. 

Are you now wondering if exercises really help in improving your immune system?

Researchers and medical experts believe that exercising for 20-30 minutes every day may have some impact on the body’s immune system. While there is no evidence to prove this claim, the following theories suggest that exercises may help increase your immunity against certain diseases:

Theory 1: Physical activity may help clear the lungs and airways of bacteria and other foreign entrants. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other breathing illnesses.

Theory 2: Exercise causes a change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are essentially the cells that fight diseases. When you exercise, these antibodies or WBCs circulate rapidly throughout the body and possibly detect illness earlier than they might have done. However, this does not mean that these changes can help prevent all types of infections.

Theory 3: Exercising produces more ‘feel-good’ hormones and slows down the release of stress hormones. Lower stress hormones may protect you against certain illnesses.

 Now that we have established some points on how exercises can help in immunity-building, remember that anywhere between light to moderate intensity exercises is recommended for all (for about 20-30 mins, 5 days a week).

 Here’s a list of 5 simple exercises that you can do at home:

 1) Walking or jogging - Take a walk on your terrace or around the compound wall of your house daily for 15-20 minutes. If you want to step out for walking, maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters from others and ideally go out only once a day. Walking is perfect for the elderly (but preferably inside the house). It improves your mood, balance and coordination. 

2) Dancing - Dance fitness is the most popular and trending form of exercise this lockdown season. Lookup for simple dance routines by fitness trainers online or on YouTube, watch them and just dance! Dancing is not only fun, but it also improves the condition of your heart and lungs.

3) Standing trunk twists - This exercise is a great way of strengthening your core muscles. It is easy & a lot of fun to do. 

How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs slightly apart and your knees slightly bent.

2. Place your arms and hands in a 'Hands Up' position.

3. Twist your torso to one side, raising your one knee and taking the opposite elbow to that raised knee.

4. Return to the start position and perform the exercise again, this time to the other side.

 4) High Knees - This exercise includes spot running motions with high knee lifts. To begin, stand with your feet in line with your hips. Lift your right knee and drive it almost towards the chest and bring it back to the ground, repeat the same with your left leg. It is a great way to do a quick cardio exercise.

5) Jumping jacks - This is another easy exercise to do at home. Jumping jacks pump up the heart muscles and improve blood circulation. Start by standing straight (make sure your back is also straight). Raise your hands to jump and land with your feet apart. Next return to your starting position but don't forget to do that in the jumping motion.

Besides staying physically fit, it is important to eat freshly cooked meals, sleep well and stay stress-free to improve your overall immunity.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Fit!

Disclaimer: The exercises mentioned in this article are provided as information. In case you have any medical condition, please check with your physician before starting these exercises.