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23 April 2020

Supporting optimal health and immunity during the COVID-19 crisis – Episode 2

Move well to support optimal health and immunity

This blog article details further from our video on one of the four pillars of health: move well. Healthy movement on a daily basis is an essential component of optimal health. Learn more of science behind movement’s relationship to health and immunity.
Please find linked articles on the underlined words and articles mentioned in this blog to find further information and inspiration to support you to ‘move well’. 
Regarding exercise it might be considered ‘old news’ that it is beneficial to our health and wellbeing. However we are still learning a great deal about the more complex reasons explaining why it is beneficial beyond cardiovascular and lipid metabolism and how it indeed supports healthy immune function.
As a chiropractor the developing evidence giving greater understanding of the neurological and neuro-immune benefits of exercise is super exciting. A healthy spine supports healthy brain function. Science shows a healthy brain function is required to produce balanced immune regulation in response to pathogens such as viral infection. 
Certainly there is evidence supporting the biological plausibility for the impact of chiropractic treatments on a relationship to the condition of our immunity and overall health. What we are waiting for excitedly is clinical trial studies to support these plausible relations.
A study released last year in the journal of health and science reviewed how regular exercise creates a long list of benefits on health and immunity that we should all be striving for. 
Benefits of regular (habitual) exercise:
– Enhanced immune function from moderate to vigorous exercises
– Decreased upper respiratory infections
– Deceased mortality and incidence of flu and pneumonia
– Decreased rate of immune function degradation with age
– Enhanced function of the innate immune system

WHY a healthy innate immune function is critical for COVID-19 and the underlying issue this crisis highlights 

Our innate immune system is behind creating a response to novel viruses such as COVID-19. Medical science is discovering that the “real morbidity and mortality of this disease is probably driven by this out of proportion inflammatory response to the virus…”. A compromised immune function produces maladjusted, abnormal inflammatory responses to novel viral pathogens; which can create critical conditions and death as seen with COVID-19.
A compromised innate immune function occurs with auto-immune conditions, a large number of chronic lifestyle related illnesses. A great number of these conditions are preventable by healthy lifestyle choices which avoids the prescription of medicines which can also compromise immune function. 
So it’s perhaps more clear than ever that supporting our four pillars of health, by actively living out wise lifestyle choices is far more than a new age, self help or feel good concept. It’s crucial to how you experience your quality of life. It’s crucial in supporting an un-compromised immune response that in the majority of cases of novel viral infection; will not lead to potentially critical or fatal outcomes.
There is no band-aid, reactive fix to optimal immune health. To date western medicine has no cure for COVID-19 and it’s becoming increasingly evident that looking for a cure is the less clever way to approach the critical variable when considering the underlying issue of the COVID-19 crisis.
Innate immune function response to a novel virus (a new virus the body has not encountered before) is the critical variable of whether somebody; will become seriously ill, require hospitalisation and potentially need a intensive care and respirator versus experiencing far less affecting symptoms akin to a common cold or flu.  The innate immune system’s ability to create a balanced, healthy response as opposed to a maladjusted one which creates hyper inflammatory conditions that are associated with deaths from COVID-19 and common viral infections such as flu, rhinovirus and common cold that mutate regularly. 
It’s harder work supporting optimal health and healthy immune function in our modern life packed full of instant gratification and excessive stress but it’s worth fighting for. Surely it’s a far better option than global circumstances we are facing right now. This current global crisis highlights the simple fact that we can no longer continue to live like this. In contrast to this grave observation, we can all actively control many of the variables that impact our state of health by actively supporting our four pillars of health and improve our baseline state of health. 
If we are actively being a healthier hosts the likelihood of new viral pathogens causing pandemic scale death and the perhaps more maiming aftermath of global recession is far less likely. This is achievable via proactive, preventative choices on a daily basis. These are choices to us living in free, developed, affluent nations like the Netherlands are privileged to. Being a director of our own health is required, not relying on a failing, reactive ‘sick care’ approach which is trying it’s very best to fix a sinking ship. Being more connected to our state of health is required and not compromising it with poor lifestyle exposure to the point of sickness. No long choosing to avoid the inconvenient truths of our abusive relationship with consumerism and it’s unsustainable effect environment go hand in hand with this same issue.
To wind it back to a more positive point and conclude this blog article. The good news is exercise is one of the quickest ways to support and improve your baseline level of health and immunity. It’s a vital component of accessing optimal health as much as sufficient nutrition is.
Find some inspiration to start or enhance you daily ‘move well’ habits and better support your immune function here:
– The guardian isolation online home work out guide.
– Blue birds yoga are providing online live stream classes you can also find free youtube classes here.
– No mater what age or fitness: 5 of the best exercises you can do – Havard health