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Position statement part two: maintaining immune health

By Neil P. Walsh, Michael Gleeson, David B. Pyne, David C. Nieman, Firdaus S. Dhabhar, Roy J. Shephard, Samuel J. Oliver, Stephane Bermon and Alma Kajeniene


This article was published in the journal, Exercise Immunology Review [© Association for the Advancement of Sports Medicine] and the definitive version is available from PubMed at The publisher's website is at: http://www.isei.dkThe physical training undertaken by athletes is one of a set of lifestyle or behavioural\ud factors that can influence immune function, health and ultimately exercise\ud performance. Others factors including potential exposure to pathogens, health\ud status, lifestyle behaviours, sleep and recovery, nutrition and psychosocial issues,\ud need to be considered alongside the physical demands of an athlete’s training programme.\ud The general consensus on managing training to maintain immune health is to start\ud with a programme of low to moderate volume and intensity; employ a gradual and\ud periodised increase in training volumes and loads; add variety to limit training\ud monotony and stress; avoid excessively heavy training loads that could lead to\ud exhaustion, illness or injury; include non-specific cross-training to offset staleness;\ud ensure sufficient rest and recovery; and instigate a testing programme for\ud identifying signs of performance deterioration and manifestations of physical\ud stress. Inter-individual variability in immunocompetence, recovery, exercise\ud capacity, non-training stress factors, and stress tolerance likely explains the different\ud vulnerability of athletes to illness. Most athletes should be able to train with\ud high loads provided their programme includes strategies devised to control the\ud overall strain and stress. Athletes, coaches and medical personnel should be alert\ud to periods of increased risk of illness (e.g. intensive training weeks, the taper period\ud prior to competition, and during competition) and pay particular attention to\ud recovery and nutritional strategies. [...continues]

Topics: Exercise, Sport, Immune, Leukocyte, Pathogen, Infection, Training, Overtraining, Overreaching, Adaptation, Diet, Supplement, Stress, In vivo, Sleep, Environment, Treatment, Prevention
Publisher: © Association for the Advancement of Sports Medicine
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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