Running and Your Immune System

Getting enough exercise can be challenging, especially when the distractions of life interfere with your spare time. Everyone knows that exercise is important, but sometimes—especially after a long time away—it can be difficult to know where to begin. While the mere thought of running may cast you immediately into despair, you cannot discredit the activity’s numerous health benefits. Perhaps a better understanding of these benefits will help you view running in an entirely new light and help you dust off those sneakers! Here are three reasons why you should consider giving running a chance.

Running improves your overall health. “The biggest benefits come from vigorous exercise like running,” says JoAnn Manson, M.D., chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Running can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthen your bones, and help you concentrate better. Additionally, regular exercise can help you sleep better and can help protect you from upper-respiratory-tract infections, breathe easier, and live longer. According to, “a review of 22 studies found that people who work out 2.5 hours a week are 19 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t exercise. A separate study found that active people have a 50 percent lower risk of premature death.” These are just a few of many reasons to lace up those tennis shoes and hit the trails!

Running helps prevent disease. Studies indicate that for women, running can actually help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Running also reduces risk of heart attack because it helps strengthen your heart and keep arteries elastic and strong. Like other types of exercise, running can aid those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. It is clear that running and regular exercise not only a way to maintain your physical strength, but also a helpful way to treat particular ailments.

Running is an excellent way to reduce stress. Stress takes a heavy toll on your body, so it is important to take measures to alleviate and cope with the stress in your life. Exercise such as running forces your body to use extra energy and hormones, providing relief from tension. When you are stressed out, anxious, or depressed, likely the last thing you want to do is run. However, running results in the release of hormones that lighten your mood and help you achieve a better emotional state.

These are just a few of many ways in which physical exercise, such as running, can help you achieve and maintain good health. At Perseus PCI, we prescribe healthy living as a highly effective way of protecting yourself from certain ailments, such as cancer. The stronger and healthier your body and immune system are, the better you will be able to fight disease.