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Is Your Exercise Routine Making You Sick?

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Is Your Exercise Routine Making You Sick? – Thomas DeLauer

I’m going to make you one promise, and that promise is that realistically you’re probably more likely to be over training than you are under training. Time and time again, people come to me and they think that they need to change something with their training or they need to train a little bit harder to get the desired outcome. The reality is training is just a small catalyst. The diet does most of the trick. But anyway, what I want to talk about in this video is truly what happens with over training and how you can know if you’re over training, but ultimately what is happening within your immune system because it’s truly fascinating, fascinating science. So, I beg of you to stick with me through this entire video. Some of the stuff is going to be complex, but I promise I will circle it back with the analogies that I usually do to help it make a lot of sense.

So what I want to talk about is the correlation between training and are cytokines, our inflammation system, our ability to fight infection. Okay? So, we’re going to talk about this specifically and this is going to be just one part of an over training series that I’m going to do. Because to be completely honest, over training has become a big part of my life recently. Having a newborn I’m sleep deprived and I’m starting to really feel the effects of training on my immune system. So I figured, what the heck? Let me share my experiences with you.

So, over training can essentially be described as when you’re training vigorously or you’re training frequently, and you’re training at a high intensity, yet you’re still finding your performance either decreases or stays stagnant. So we might ultimately say that over training is the ultimate plateau maker. And what we want to talk about here is how over training is weakening your immune system. So, the main thing is that when we are training, we are suppressing our immune system. There’s no two ways about it. Were causing this microtrauma or causing these little injuries to our muscles and to our joints that are occurring through natural training. But that suppresses our immune system. That’s of course known as immunosuppression. But what we’re starting to find now through various science is that over training has a very strong link with upper respiratory infections.

Now, why upper respiratory infections? Well, they’re easy to measure. So when we look at peer reviewed science, we look at the studies, it’s easy to take a look at an upper respiratory infection because they usually can be contracted quickly and they’re easy to measure, and correlate with over training. So with that said, let’s jump right into the first study.

So this study took a five month look at three different groups. Okay? We had a sedentary group, we had an elite athlete group, and we had a recreational trainer or athlete group. And what they wanted to measure was the overall rate in which each of these groups would potentially acquire an upper respiratory infection.


1) Spence L , et al. (n.d.). Incidence, etiology, and symptomatology of upper respiratory illness in elite athletes. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17414793
2) https://www.nature.com/articles/icb200070
3) Hooper SL and Mackinnon LT. (n.d.). Monitoring overtraining in athletes. Recommendations. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8571005
4) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9f1e/7564bdba2b55733c3d6f260ad04e96944817.pdf
5) Overtraining Syndrome: A Practical Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435910/
6) LL, S. (n.d.). Cytokine hypothesis of overtraining: a physiological adaptation to excessive stress? – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10694113
7) Spence L , et al. (n.d.). Incidence, etiology, and symptomatology of upper respiratory illness in elite athletes. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17414793
8) Immune function in sport and exercise | Journal of Applied Physiology. (01, August). Retrieved from https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00008.2007
9) Evaluation of immune response after moderate and overtraining exercise in wistar rat. (2014, January 1). Retrieved from http://ijbms.mums.ac.ir/article_2148.html
10) Hackney AC and Koltun KJ. (n.d.). The immune system and overtraining in athletes: clinical implications. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23540172
11) Lakier Smith L. (n.d.). Overtraining, excessive exercise, and altered immunity: is this a T helper-1 versus T helper-2 lymphocyte response? – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12696983

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