Walk--Don’t Run--For Better Immunity

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2009
Walk--Don’t Run--For Better Immunity
5
Thu, 11-05-2009 - 8:21pm

Walk--Don’t Run--For Better Immunity

That sniffling, sneezing, coughing time of the year is on its way and as fear mounts over the possibility of a flu pandemic; immunity has made its way to the top of everyone’s list. If you think more is better when it comes to exercise and the immune system, a recent NY Times article may just compel you to take your workout routine down a notch.

While we all like to believe exercise can do no harm, multiple studies show that moderate exercise, such as walking, can be more beneficial to warding off sickness than rigorous workouts. Alarmingly, rigorous exercise may even result in worse symptoms than no exercise at all. In one of the mentioned studies, after being exposed to the flu only 12 percent of mice that leisurely jogged died, while an astounding 70 percent of mice that had ran for hours passed away!

The relationship between exercise and immunity can be explained through something called a “J-shaped curve” where a curve initially falls, but then rises higher than the starting point. While moderate exercise boosts immunity and cuts down the risk of having severe symptoms, as exercise exertion goes up, the curve rises reflecting our increasing chance at catching the cold or flu.

The idea that rigorous exercise can suppress the immune system may go against our natural instinct, but studies such as one published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrate that our physiological ability to fight infections goes down after intense exercise. In the study, 24 male professional Brazilian soccer players provided saliva samples 10 minutes before warm-up and 5 minutes after the conclusion of a soccer match. It was found that in many of the athletes, salivary immunoglobulin, a predominant protein that functions as an antibody, was significantly lower after the match.

As researchers try to come up with explanations as to why exercise interferes with our defense system, it is important to remember not to overexert ourselves especially if the sniffles are coming on. Keep in mind that while rigorous exercise seems to increase our chances of becoming sick, moderate exercise, such as walking, provides protection against infections. It's time to drop that vitamin C and get walking.

http://www.neversaydiet.com/blog-article/walk-don%E2%80%99t-run-better-immunity

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2008
Fri, 11-06-2009 - 9:47am

Sooo interesting to read. I do a lot of walking with just a few jogs that is all everyday.


Very good to know. My neighbor is a runner now hard core. She did a recent Nike running event


in Oct. If I told her that she would give me the What??? Look.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2004
Sat, 11-07-2009 - 10:27am
Great article~ Thanks so much for posting it!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Sun, 11-08-2009 - 10:15pm
Thanks for the info.
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2008
Sun, 11-15-2009 - 3:21pm
This makes sense to me. Most things done to the extreme are not good for us in the long-run. I think WATP 1 to 2 X a day makes sense for good cardio and toning w/o over doing it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Sun, 11-15-2009 - 9:31pm
Ok, I talked too soon!