In the fall and winter, many of us experience the annual ‘flu’. In addition to being really annoying and uncomfortable, it messes with your job, training regime and everything else.
In regards to avoiding or dealing with sickness, it seems like everyone has their own theory. Some people will stay indoors and try to relax as much as possible to ‘help the body focus on fighting the disease”. Other will exercise rigorously, to “sweat the badness out”.
Since I’m doing an immunology course this semester, I came of think of this topic again, and I wondered what the right advice would be in that situation. I did a search on the topic, and it seems like most reviews and articles focus on the same 3-4 studies. The article below from The New York times summarizes it nicely.
Key points: Moderate exercise can boost your immune response in case of an infection. Inactivity or strenuous activity has compromising effects. Should you then never train hard? Of course that is not an option for many of us. However, you could take in to consideration that your immune system is probably weakened after a hard competition /session etc. Stay away from sick people and wash your hands often in that period to minimize the risk of exposure to flu or other nasty things.
Link to the article in the NY times: “Phys Ed: Does Exercise Boost Immunity?”
Another great take on the subjetc: ” Exercise and Your Immune System: Better health one dead rodent at a time”