By Dr. Chris Mulvey, PT
The coronavirus outbreak likely has led to a surge in sales for the supplement industry as proactive-minded
individuals try to protect themselves against COVID-19 by boosting their immune system.
Indeed, vitamins A, B, C, E and zinc are proven to help the human body fight off illness and are readily
available at the nearest drugstore. Health-conscious individuals may go the natural route and comb the
produce section of their local supermarket for citrus, leafy greens and other fruits and vegetables.
Another way to boost the immune system isn’t so easy – exercise.
The immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism that can flush away viruses, bacteria and
other harmful impurities. When germs enter the body, they’ll stay until something pushes them out. The
longer they linger, the greater likelihood that you’ll become sick.
Getting your immune system working on all cylinders and in optimal condition take a multifaceted approach
to health care. A healthy and balanced diet, ample sleep, reduced stress levels, proper hygiene and exercise
all work together to create a strong immune system.
The definition of “exercise” varies greatly, but for purposes of your immune system, individuals should
consider low to moderate levels of exercise on a regular basis. White blood cells help fight off infections, so
keeping a steady stream of cells pumping through the body amplifies the rate at which cells circulate the
body and effectively kill viruses and bacteria.
The key to exercise as it relates to the immune system is not overdoing it. Extended, high-intensity workouts
can actually have the opposite effect as many endurance athletes have actually shown depressed immunity.
Physical therapists can offer examples of immune-boosting, low to moderate exercises, which may include
20 to 30 minutes of bicycling or walking around the neighborhood, yoga, golf, tennis or simply stretching for
an extended period.
The coronavirus seems to have reminded everyone to be vigilant about handwashing and proper etiquette for
sneezing and coughing, and hopefully it also serves as a refresher that diet and exercise plays a huge role in
our overall health.
As always, consult with a trained medical professional prior to making any substantial exercise, dietary or
About the Author
Dr. Chris Mulvey, PT, is president for company-owned operations at FYZICAL
Therapy and Balance Centers, which has 427 locations in 45 states. For more
information, please visit Fyzical.com.