Exercise and Meditation Influences on the Immune System
Both meditation and exercise are useful ways to get stress under control. They also seem to have an effect on the immune system. In a recent attempt to tie these issues together, researchers in Norway investigated the effects of long-term meditation on the immune system before, during, and after exercise.What was the research about?
Twenty runners in a half-marathon race participated in the study. One group in the study consisted of 10 runners who had practiced mediation for a long time. The other group in the study consisted of 10 runners who did not practice meditation. Blood samples were taken from the participants before, immediately after, and 2 hours after the race to determine the number of immune cells in the blood stream.
The results showed that certain types of immune cells were much higher after the race, regardless of whether participants practiced long-term mediation.Why should it matter to me?
Exercise can help people avoid getting sick by boosting the immune system. Moreover, using relaxation techniques like meditation do not interfere with this exercise-related benefit.Source: Solberg, E. E., Halvorsen, R., & Holen, A. (2000). Effect of mediation on immune cells. Stress Medicine, 16, 185-190.