Immunity Builders: The Importance of Sleep and Exercise

Let these tips guide you on how exercise and sleep can lead to better immunity.

Your daily activities can play a big role on building your immunity. These can help strengthen the immune system and also help the body fight off infections. Let these tips guide you on how exercise and sleep can lead to better immunity.


Regular exercise (mix of moderate to vigorous exercise intensity, for 30 to 60 minutes every day) builds and strengthens the body, making it more capable of fighting against infections.  It enhances the body’s resistance by increasing the number of circulating immune cells. This triggers hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding viruses to reduce your chance of getting infected.

  • Moderate to vigorous intensity exercises include yoga, jogging, running, cycling, aerobics/dance workouts, and active chores at home.
  • You may also opt to do strength training. Pushups, walking lunges, jumping jacks, squats, and planking are some exercises that can easily be done at home.


Lack of sleep makes the body create fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infections and inflammation, which may lead to a weakened immune system.

  • Getting seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended each day for adults, while school children need nine to eleven hours.


Stress and anxiety could weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Practicing yoga and meditation can allow the body to cope with stress. Browse our workout videos if you want to give it a try. You can check out our Nestlé Wellness Club YouTube channel to see yoga workout videos led by coaches from BeyondYoga.


Along with proper diet, exercise, and sleep, it’s good to practice social distancing and proper hygiene. Even after the quarantine, it’s important to keep yourself safe by avoiding crowded and enclosed spaces which could be possible sources of infection. These practices will help you avert even common illnesses.

Building immunity is now more important than ever. Just listen to your body because it can tell you when it can handle physical activities and when it needs rest. When we take better care of ourselves, we also give our immune system the best chance it needs to do its job.


  1. Nieman D and Wentz L. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science. Vol 8:3, pp. 201-217. Retrieved from:
  2. Besedovsky L, Lange T and Born J. (2012). Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch. 463(1): 121–137. Retrieved from:
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. (2015). Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. Retrieved from: