There is a belief that overtraining or participating in long distance sporting events can make athletes sick. In fact, the results of a survey conducted by Gatorade Sports Science have shown that nearly 90% of high school coaches, college and sports instructors believe that training. It can compromise the immune system and make athletes sick.
Too much exercise can make you sick?
The results of a study of several participants of the Los Angeles Marathon show that one in seven runners participated in the event after the test ended, runners who trained more than 100 km a week during the two months prior to the test Doubled their odds of illness compared to those who trained less than 20 miles each week.
Although moderate exercise can help protect athletes’ organs from disease, on the other hand, periods of training over time that are too high seem to predispose athletes to illness. Laboratory research shows that performing a high intensity exercise for more than 90 minutes can lead to a strong drop in immune function that can last up to 24 hours. Decreases in immune function appear to be caused by elevated stress hormones released during and after intense exercise.
When the athlete falls ill, many times you wonder if it will be beneficial or not to perform some type of sports activity. The recommendations tell us that if the symptoms of the disease are neck up, moderate exercise may be acceptable. When symptoms spread throughout the body, such as fever, chills or muscle aches associated with the flu, the safest approach is to avoid all the exercises until the symptoms have completely disappeared. In these conditions, the practice of some type of sport with the intention of “sweating the disease” can cause the known post-viral fatigue Syndrome (weakness, increased fatigue, frequent infections, depression) that can persist for months and even years.
While some athletes have strong immune systems that can handle large workloads, others can be weakened with smaller workloads.
To prevent and even avoid falling ill we can establish a series of practical guidelines that will reduce the risk of immunosuppression and illness:
- The diet must be varied in order to maintain a correct intake of both vitamins and minerals.
- Maintaining a correct level of blood glucose will reduce stress hormone levels, which leads to better immune function, therefore, we will use carbohydrate rich drinks before, during and after prolonged and intense exercise.
- We will avoid overtraining; we must know and respect our limits. Otherwise we will dangerously approach chronic fatigue.
- Sleeping enough hours is our best ally to recover our defense systems every day. In addition it is necessary that we establish a regular schedule.
- We will avoid great fluctuations in our weight; the ideal is to maintain a constant weight.
- It is advisable for those athletes with heavy training loads and competitions during the winter who are vaccinated against the flu to avoid relapses.
These are some of the recommendations, it is true that every day we try to overcome ourselves, to go more, but we have to be aware that the improvement has a few times, that needs a slow and steady progression, if we try to shorten times increasing the loads of training we risk To fall ill and lose a lot of work and effort.