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Resistance exercise could be a new ‘prescription’

A new study by Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland has linked resistance exercise with boosting you immune system and aiding in injury health.

Until this study was undertaken, little was known about the impact of resistance exercise.

Published in Immunology Letters, the researchers examined 16 previous studies undertaken during1989-2016 that investigated participants undertaking a single session of resistance exercise encompassing various exercises.

“We combined the data from all relevant scientific publications, including two of our own original articles, to conduct a stringent systematic analysis of the resistance exercise research,” said Dr Adam Szlezak from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland.

The study found that both high and low dosages of resistance exercise increased the immune system’s surveillance potential in the participants in a similar way to that of aerobic exercise, much like drugs can.

“We found that both high and low dosages of resistance exercise increased the immune system’s surveillance potential in the participants in a similar way to that of aerobic exercise. Even a low dose of thumb resistance exercise increased the number of key white blood cells in the circulation,” Dr Szlezak said.

The research suggested that resistance exercise appears to improve immuno-surveillance similar to that of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, regular moderate intensity 20-45 min work-outs in the gym may provide similar protection against upper respiratory tract infections (URTI).

Now that we know that different resistance exercise doses can result in distinct biological responses, much like drugs can, we now need to see if these responses can be used to reduce risk of URTI, as well as improve recovery from illness and injury, said Dr Szlezak.

The research also suggests that GPs should recommend that their patients abstain from all forms of exercise in the hours prior to blood collection for requesting full blood counts due to its impact on white cell count.

Meredith Horne

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