There was a study that was conducted on all the participants of a marathon and found that people who are involved in marathon training and races heighten stress hormones and can diminish your skin, upper respiratory tract, blood, and muscle health. But a new meta-analysis, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, suggests that’s just not true: Endurance exercise won’t make you more susceptible to infections.
When this idea was first incepted in the 1980s, researchers asked runners in the Los Angeles Marathon if they experienced symptoms of infections in the days and weeks post-race. Many did, so, naturally, researchers drew a link between endurance sports increasing infection risk. Researchers reviewed literature from the last few decades. During endurance sports, immune cells will multiply in the bloodstream as much as 10 times.
“It is increasingly clear that changes happening to your immune system after a strenuous bout of exercise do not leave your body immune-suppressed,” lead analysis author John Campbell said in a press release. “In fact, evidence now suggests that your immune system is boosted after exercise—for example, we know that exercise can improve your immune response to a flu jab.”
“It is increasingly clear that changes happening to your immune system after a strenuous bout of exercise do not leave your body immune-suppressed,” said study co-author John Campbell from University of Bath in Britain. “In fact, evidence now suggests that your immune system is boosted after exercise – for example we know that exercise can improve your immune response to a flu jab,” Campbell added.
“The findings from our analysis emphasise that people should not be put off exercise for fear that it will dampen their immune system. Clearly, the benefits of exercise, including endurance sports, outweigh any negative effects which people may perceive,” study co-author James Turner from University of Bath said.
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