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Endurance sports strengthen the immune system - but don't overdo it

Endurance sports strengthen the immune system - but don't overdo it


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Above all, moderate endurance training promotes the immune system

Endurance sports such as jogging have long been popular in Germany. Since the gyms and sports clubs closed due to the Corona crisis, even more than before. But don't overdo it. Excessive training can even weaken the immune system, health professionals warn.

We stay at home - but sport is still allowed. And not only that, it also makes a lot of sense. Because the immune system also benefits from this. The only requirement is that you don't overdo it.

Intensive training can initially increase susceptibility to infections

Exercise strengthens the immune system, at least in the long run. However, particularly intensive training has another, negative side: Immediately afterwards, the immune system is weakened, and the susceptibility to infections increases.

The window effect

Experts speak of the window effect - a window of vulnerability that opens at short notice. This window effect is particularly dangerous in times of the corona pandemic. On the other hand, it is important for older people and other high-risk patients to strengthen the immune system. So what to do? Professor Ingo Froböse, head of the Institute for Exercise Therapy at the German Sport University Cologne, advises: Continue endurance sports, but do not overdo it.

How much is too much

Fortunately, this is easy to find out: the strain is just right when recreational athletes can still have a good conversation with a training partner, for example while running. In principle, the expert recommends four to five exercise units, each with a length of 30 to 45 minutes. Classic endurance sports such as running, walking or cycling are the best choice - and also possible in times of non-contact. However, there are also alternatives that can even be done in your own garden or living room, for example jumping jacks or jumping rope. (vb; source: dpa / tmn)

Author and source information



Video: 15. Immune System Responses to Exercise (July 2022).


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