Impact of Exercise on Immunosenescence

Especially during times of the pandemic, it has never been clearer that not only we, but the elderly needs every edge available to protect our health. As we age, our immune system changes.   Immunosensescence is defined as immune dysregulation as we age. It is related to an increased susceptibility to infections, autoimmune diseases, tumors, metabolic diseases, osteoporosis, and neurologic disorders.

Studies support that habitual exercise is capable of improving the regulation of the immune system and delaying the onset of immunosenescence. Immunity can be remodeled during the aging process as a result of lifestyle and is instrumental in shaping immune status in later life.  

Benefits of Exercise on Immunosenescence:

  • Enhanced vaccination responses: Enhanced antibody-specific response when vaccinations are preceded by an acute exercise bout and an improved antibody response to the influenza immunization in elderly
  • Overall anti-inflammatory influence: The circulation surge in cells of the immune system with each exercise bout have a summation effect over time in modulating tumorigenesis, atherosclerosis, and other disease processes. This means an improved defense against pathogens and cancer cells and decreased systemic inflammation.
  • Beneficial to the gut flora.
  • Protective effect on illness incidence.
  • Decreased mortality and incidence rates for influenza and pneumonia.

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