Endurance training against infections

Endurance sports can strengthen the immune system

It has long been known that physical exercise has a positive effect on the organism. According to the experts, sport can certainly serve to strengthen the immune system and reduce sickness overall. Endurance sports such as cycling, running or swimming are particularly recommended. However, overloads should be avoided as far as possible, otherwise there is a risk of a counterproductive effect.

Regular endurance training of moderate intensity and moderate size strengthens the immune system and improves the function of certain immune cells, explained the sports teacher Markus Wanjek from the German University for Prevention and Health Management / BSA Academy in Saarbrücken to the news agency "dpa".
In this way, endurance sports can strengthen the immune system. Endurance training is a good way to improve the body's immune system at the beginning of the year. In particular, “the rate of infection of the upper respiratory tract” can be significantly “reduced” by the moderate sporting activities, with a few short training units per week already having a clear effect.

Exercise strengthens the body's defenses and helps against stress. If the immune system is weakened, pathogens can penetrate the organism all the more easily and in some cases trigger serious infections. That is why people with whom the body's defenses are not functioning optimally recommend moderate endurance training, the doctor explained. This also applies to senior citizens, whose immune system is often already weakening. Since stress is said to have a debilitating effect on the immune system and exercise can help to reduce stress, there are two ways to achieve a positive effect on the immune system. The president of the professional association of German psychologists, Sabine Siegl, had announced in the middle of the year that numerous mental illnesses could be "caught up" and "a lot of suffering and costs could be prevented through clever and sustainable prevention measures", whereby sport is explicit should be mentioned as a preventive measure. This also helps in dealing with stress and thus protects against burnout, Sieg continues.

Endurance training should be individually adapted When starting endurance training, it is "important to adapt the training individually to your own training status", explained Markus Wanjek. Depending on the state of your training and your preference, consider jogging or walking in the fresh air. Alternatively, indoor training on a bike ergometer, on a cross trainer, on a treadmill or with a rowing machine is also suitable. The exercisers should, however, urgently avoid overloading. Because "too intensive, too extensive and exhausting endurance training with insufficient recovery phases does the opposite," warned the doctor. For beginners, for example, endurance training two to three times a week with approximately 30-minute training units is sufficient. According to the expert, if the organism is stressed too much by sport, the immune system may be temporarily weakened and the susceptibility to infections increased accordingly. (fp)

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