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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Physical Activity and the Immune System

I've been a pretty inconsistent blogger these past few weeks, but I finally thought of something extremely interesting to post about! Unfortunately, the only reason I thought to post about this is because it's happening to me as we speak.
This past weekend, I ran 18.8 miles-18 felt so good I kept going for a bit, and it felt great.  The next day, I wasn't even sore.  This workout really had me feeling good about myself for a while, then Monday afternoon a sore throat hit.  Research has shown that physical activity can help boost the body's immune system and reduce our risk for contracting viruses.  Physical activity can even help minimize the amount of time a particular virus stays in your system, shortening the overall duration of your "cold."  Unfortunately, as one nears the marathon territory and the intensity and duration of workouts increases, immuno-supression also intensifies. This can be better explained by the J-shaped curve below, where at a sedentary state, one's risk of disease is average, with moderate physical activity, one's risk of disease is below average, and with very high levels of physical activity, one's risk for disease is above average.
So for the next few days I'm going to be resting up so that I can continue on with my training later in the week.  Just some light yoga and leisurely bike rides to work.
Also, thanks mom for the bracelet..."it's not a sprint, it's a marathon" !

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