High Intensity Interval Training and Rest equal a strong immune system. Find out how you can boost your immune system during your next workout. Our Immune System & Exercise: Can long workouts actually harm you?
As I unfortunately found out this week, yes my long stretch of no sickness has ended, and I was graced with a lovely nor’easter cold. And although it can be quite challenging for me to rest and recover, I know that if I do take a week off, I will not only come back better but stronger!
Recently some scientists found that HIT training, high intensity-short duration workouts, can be better for your immune system than long exercise programs. Find the published study here in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
The study found that prolonged, moderate-intensity exercise, but not short-lasting high or short-lasting moderate-intensity exercise, decreases the induction of in-vivo immunity. Scientists and researchers used this method that relies on the antigen diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP), which can trigger the body’s immune response when administered through a patch on the lower back. With the DPCP patches, scientists were able to go back four weeks after they applied the patch and, by administering more DPCP, measure redness and skin thickening.
The test: One runner doing 30 minutes of moderate running on a treadmill, one doing 30 minutes of intense running (80 percent of peak oxygen uptake) on a treadmill, another doing 120 minutes of moderate running, and the last group not exercising at all.
Researches noticed that those runners doing intense running for 30 minutes did not have any affect on their immune response. However, after the group ran for 2 hours at a moderate pace their immunity lowered. Often this can be from the fact that during prolonged activity such as a marathon, the blood stress hormones like cortisol increase. This can temporarily inhibit immune function. This is why I encourage my runners to rest a few days after a big event.
A 2011 study by David Nieman, director of the health and exercise department at Appalachian State University, discovered that those who exercise 5 or more days a week are 43 percent less likely to catch an upper respiratory tract infection than people who exercise once a week or not at all.
And don’t forget to fuel. Yes frequent shorter workouts are a better choice than longer workouts as far as a immune system is concerned but those training for marathons need to remember to eat their carbs! Complex carbohydrates supply a quick accessible energy source to your body and do not deplete your energy when exercising loner that 1 ½ hours