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Exercise and Immune Function in Children and Adolescents

  • By: Brian W. Timmons & Thanh Nguyen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Exercise and physical activity are often encouraged as part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active can also impart immune protection against infection and illness. However, there are differences between adults and children in how exercise can affect components of the immune system. Because children are growing and the immune system is developing, it is important to understand these issues from a growth perspective. This entry discusses how exercise affects the immune system, how this is different between children and adults, and the implications for immune function and risk of infection.

How Does Exercise Affect the Immune System?
Natural Killer Cells

The immune system is made up of a variety of cells and proteins. Some cells, such a natural killer (NK) cells, are very sensitive to exercise. However, the ...

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