How Sugar Decreases Immunity & HIIT Raises Immunity
While I write these tips and tidbits to help enlighten, inspire, and connect our community, I also write them because I can be a slow (stubborn) processor and need reminders!
Case in point:
Thursday morning of last week, I had a case of the sniffles, so I laid low-ish and took a blast of apple vinegar (a secret immunity-blasting potion).
Friday night, 7:00 pm…Sniffles are almost gone, It was the weekend and all caution was thrown to the wind. Along with a couple of (very) sugary cocktails, I enjoyed a heaping bowl of seafood pasta and finished off the evening with a yummy (very) sweet lemon tart.
Two hours later…The sugary spike of poison sent my immune system into a sluggish spiral. By the time I went to bed, my sniffle had evolved into a yucky cold.
Our immunity system is like a “police force”
Though I felt better, my immune police force was still fighting the virus. The spike in sugar added more bad guys to their mob and sent my system into overdrive
Did you know that when we have sugar, our immune system is decreased by 50% for 5 hours? Because of my indulgent sugar spike, my sniffle immediately evolved into a cold…
Two of the many ways sugar compromises our immune system:
- Sugar increases the production of inflammatory cytokines (bad guys) Impaired the function of my white blood cells to extinguish my cold
- Sudden blood sugar spikes also spike our cortisol levels, which decreases our immunity
It’s been a couple of days of brothy Pho soup and being a good girl. I am back to myself, but I am humbled. I feel like I witnessed a crime. LOL
Decadent, yummy, and full of powerful antioxidants! Pho Noodle Soup with Butternut Squash, Jess Brauer, Taste Sante
With fall here and flu season on the way, we could all use more good guys to help us fight against disease and illnesses. I am happy to lead the charge!
Did you know that infusing a regular dose of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is like adding a SWAT team to our immune-fighting squad?
All exercise is good, but when it comes to raising our immunity, low-intensity exercise (walking, Pilates, Yoga) is like having a small police force. It can help to protect us from some threats, but it may not be enough to defend us against more serious threats.
Ways HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) strengthens our immune system:
- Increases blood and lymph flow. HIIT exercise causes the heart to pump faster and the muscles to contract more forcefully. This increases the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a fluid that contains immune cells, so increased lymph flow helps to distribute immune cells throughout the body more effectively.
- Increases the production of immune cells. HIIT triggers the release of hormones, such as epinephrine and cortisol, which stimulate the production of immune cells, such as white blood cells and natural killer cells.
- Reduces the production of inflammatory markers (Bad guys). HIIT exercise helps to reduce the production of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). These markers are associated with increased inflammation.
- Increases the production of anti-inflammatory compounds (More bad guys). HIIT exercise can also help to increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10). These compounds help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- Improves sleep quality. HIIT exercise helps to improve sleep quality. Sleep is essential for immune health, so we need all the help we can get!
Studies prove that dancing and the camaraderie of like-minded friends is a wonderful way to reduce stress – another immunity-suppressing bad guy.
For so many reasons, FIGHT (and dance) for your lives with us this week!