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 Effects Of Running On The Immune System
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:42 am
Can running make you more likely to get sick? The evidence isn't clear, but it appears that the answer is probably yes. Pete Pfitzinger has written an intriguing article on the effects of running on your immune system for his Lab Report series. He looked at a number of studies, and found good evidence that intense workouts can depress your immune system and make you more likely to get sick for hours or even days afterwards.

In one study of test subject runners, the ratio of helper to suppressor cells in the immune system decreased when either training volume or training intensity were suddenly increased. Ratios returned to normal within 10 days, however, suggesting that the runner's bodies eventually adapted to the new level of training. This implies that runners should be especially careful when suddenly increasing the intensity or volume of their training, and try to make increases more gradually when possible.

Another study looked at runners in the Los Angeles marathon, both before and after the race. During the last two months before the marathon, high-mileage runners who averaged 60+ miles per week were twice as likely to become ill than those who averaged 20 miles per week. The study also found that 13% of athletes who completed the marathon became ill during the next week, compared to just 2% of athletes who trained for the marathon, but were prevented from running it.



runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

Re: Effects Of Running On The Immune System Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:42 pm 

To me this falls into the category of "everything in moderation." It seems like if you run a moderate amount regularly, your immune system is probably the same as everyone else's, but there's a hit to the immune system whenever there's a step up in effort. Doesn't seem incredibly surprising, and I certainly wouldn't say it means that running is bad for you (as long as you're getting enough sleep and calories).

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