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Building the Immune System: Moderate Running to Combat Illness

August 18, 2015
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Runners are commonly viewed as some of the most active and healthy people in today's society. Generally, they work hard to meet their daily running schedule and have routine habits that help keep their athlete-minded mentalities strong. While exercise is known to have significant health benefits, recent studies have revealed that the relationship between the immune system and running for exercise is far more complex. Yes it is true that "moderate exercise" increases one's resistance to illness, and studies have shown that people who exercise four to five times a week at moderate intensity have half the number of respiratory infections compared to those who do not. However, once this performance level is taken up a notch, the line between happy and healthy becomes slightly more complicated. Exercising will not necessarily make a person sick, but it can decrease antibodies that prevent illness. Thus the most important time to guard against infection and illness is the first few hours after a workout or run. More over, when people begin to run at higher intensity, their ability to resist illness decreases and they become much more prone to sickness. Research also shows that exercise under stress increases a person's risk of getting a cold or coming down with the flu. The video below showcases a wealth of knowledge about this relationship and provides tips to help runners gain insight into this phenomenon. Learn more, and use running as a preventative measure for the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWALtT0umpI
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