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Getting Sick After Working Out- Does Exercise
Lower Your Immune System?
By Michael Collins
from a reader: "Hey guys, I wanted to know if working out can make
you more prone to getting sick? About 3 years ago I really got into
fitness and I've now started training for my first Triathlon.
In the past 2 months I've really increased my total work but I've
gotten 2 full blown colds which have caused me to cease training for
about a week each time. Could it be from the training?"
First off, good luck on your Triathlon!
An intense training program is the most efficient and effective way to
reach your goals, whether it be training for a triathlon, trying to
pack on lean muscle tissue, or lose 10 pounds to fit into your favorite
jeans from college.
Achieving those goals, as you know is also not an overnight phenomenon.
It takes consistent effort day in and day out to get there. Results
don't come from one all out effort but from a string of solid efforts.
The big challenge here is that intense training has also shown to lower
your immune system for 24 hours or more. When your immune system takes a
hit, you're more prone to infections and illnesses.
Working out intensely isn't the only suppressor of the immune system-
stress from work and relationships are also high on the list but I'll
let Dr. Phil handle those for you.
So what can I do to keep my immune system strong if I work out
If you're working out intensely and getting colds often, here are two
crucial elements that will help keep your immune system strong
and keep your workout consistency up.
1- High Quality Nutrition- Doesn't it seem like it always comes
down to how you eat and what you eat? Well, it really does. Anytime your
system gets depleted of crucial nutrients (which is quite common with an
intense training program), you'll want to eat as many high quality
proteins as you can- fish, poultry, eggs and beef.
Protein is the backbone of many processes in the body that fight off
Fresh and frozen vegetables should also be a staple of your diet along
with some fruit- berries, apples, etc. You'll also want to top it off
with a high quality vitamin/ mineral formula as insurance.
Pre and post workout I suggest a high quality whey protein for
recovery and my secret illness fighting weapon-
2. High Quality Sleep- Just as a hard training person needs more
protein than the average person to keep up with the demands of the body,
a hard training person needs plenty of high quality sleep. Many of the
recuperative processes happen during sleep- crucial hormones are
released for cell regeneration and reduction of stress and inflammation.
Getting more/ better sleep is often easier said than done. Although it's
rare that I have problems going to sleep, here are a few supplements
recommended by friends and clients who've had success with them.
-Green tea extract
-Theanine (Found in green tea)
-Melatonin (A sleep hormone released naturally at night time)
-Magnesium or ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Aspartate)
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