OVERTRAINING AND IMMUNITY

By krushmichheda

Every time we read about strategies to boost our immune system, one definite tactic listed is – Exercise!

Yes, we couldn’t agree more.

Exercise is an indispensible element to unlock good health and with the recent pandemic, a healthy lifestyle has become a need of the hour. A recent research has shown a strong link between moderate exercise and immunity. It helps in reducing stress hormones, lowers inflammation and develops immunosurveillance. It also aids in losing excess weight, which reduces the probability of diseases.

How much is too much!

However, this positive relationship between exercise and immunity can go wrong if overdone. Arduous exercise can lead to higher chances of suppressed immunity.   More than 90 minutes of vigorous exercise leads to higher requirement for recovery, and can result in more susceptibility to infections for 72 hours post training. Overtraining can also lead to higher episodes of upper respiratory tract infections and low response to vaccines. Heavy exercise can lead to high oxidative stress in the body which leads to high inflammation which can cause a dip in the immune response.

Athletes who are getting back to their routine!

It sure is overwhelming to get back to the field and resume training but as athletes it’s important to remember to go gradual versus resuming where you had stopped. One is bound to feel the competition’s pressure and train more than needed, but it will only hamper your performance, health and immunity if not structured wisely. Overtraining has shown to result in disturbed sleep patterns, frequent illness episodes and persistent fatigue for athletes.

Lose your weight, not your immunity!

Given the current Covid scenario where most of us are locked in our homes with suddenly a lot of time in hands, many have turned towards their ever-pending goal of losing weight. With no/low professional help or gyms around, we have been designing our own exercise routine and in the the course of losing weight quickly, many are training twice a day or increasing their exercise time or intensity. Exercising is an essential part of your weight loss journey and indulging in 45-60 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week will help you achieve desired results. However, pushing your body physically without monitoring recovery and workout load can result into higher risk of injuries and infections.

5 tips on optimal training without hampering your immunity!

  • Increase your exercise intensity and volume in small increments preferably with the help of a professional trainer or coach.
  • Indulge in an exercise programme that covers three important components of fitness: cardiovascular exercises, strength training, mobility and flexibility.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day especially during training to replace fluid and electrolyte loss.
  • Get adequate night sleep without any gadgets or screen time one hour prior to sleeping to aid recovery.
  • Keep the stress-o-meter low to avoid higher inflammation.
  • Maintain 6 ft. of social distancing and personal hygiene at all points.