1. A fascinating paradox in human physiology is the concept of the “J-shaped relationship” between exercise training and health.
2. The J-shaped hypothesis suggests that, in general, people who exercise regularly experience fewer illnesses and infections than those who do not. However, when athletes train at volumes and intensities excessively higher than normal for extended periods, they experience a significant increase in illnesses.
3. Immediately after a hard workout there is a decrease in your immune system function, causing an “open window” for catching a cold or other illness.
4. Therefore it’s very important that you follow the 5 tips to avoid illness as much as you can during heavy training periods.
5 Tips to Avoid Illness
1) Refuel. Your muscles and immune system are competing for nutrients after exercise, so make sure you're refuelling with proper carbohydrates and protein, especially after a really hard workout. Check out this article on post-exercise nutrition.
2) Fruits and vegetables. Make sure you're eating a balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables. For more information and what to eat on a regular basis check out Everyday Nutrition.
3) Supplements. Eating foods that are high in nutrients is ideal, but supplements can help ensure you’re getting what you need to keep yourself healthy during training or periods of high stress. Many athletes take L-glutamine, an amino acid used by the body to repair muscle tissue, and to fuel white blood cells. Taking an antioxidant supplement containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene is also suggested.
4) Hygiene. Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, especially during the first hour after exercising.
5) Sleep. Make sure to get extra rest and sleep after periods of really hard training or competitions. Check out Sleep and Athletic Performance for why sleep is so important.
The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your general health. It is intended to compliment your training plan and not instead of guidance from your coach. It should also not be used in place of advice from a doctor or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. By participating in this program you assume any risks, and that you release Impactic Sport from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.