Sep 26

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Immune System for Endurance Athletes

running5Endurance athletes commit to rigorous training to improve their performance. While year-round conditioning and strength training is a necessity for boosting stamina, too much training can impair the immune system—thus making endurance athletes susceptible to chronic fatigue and sickness. Committed to helping athletes achieve their goals, our team at RPM² has provided some helpful tips for boosting immunity.

An Overview of the Immune System

The human body and its systems are truly fascinating, especially immune functions. Like muscles, the immune system responds to stimuli. For example, suffering from the common cold helps the immune system adapt and build up immunity to viruses. Interestingly, research shows that up to 80% of immune function lies in the gastrointestinal tract. This means that digestive and colon health plays a role in protecting the body from disease. Overtraining and foregoing the appropriate amount of rest, not only affects performance due to fatigue, it also strains the immune system and its ability to fight off infections.

Tips for Boosting Immunity

One of the most important things an athlete should consider when it comes to immunity is rest and recuperation. Athletes should be in tune with their bodies and respond accordingly. For instance, when you feel thirsty, you drink water or a sports drink. The same goes for rest, when you feel tired or overworked, decrease activity and seek rest instead. From short power naps to taking a day off from training, resting helps your body rejuvenate tissues and respond to environmental stimuli.

In addition to rest, a balanced diet and supplements can help recharge the immune system. Take into account your eating habits; are you eating plenty of brightly colored vegetables and dark, leafy greens? Should you adjust your fiber intake?

Supplements also play a role in boosting your immune system’s ability to function properly. In addition to important nutrients like Vitamin C and minerals like calcium and magnesium, probiotic supplements can also assist with digestive health and immunity. If you decide to use supplements to help protect your immune system, talk with a dietician or your physician for specific recommendations on which supplements are best for your individual needs.

RPM² is here to help athletes improve biomechanics and performance. Our footbed devices help reveal bilateral deficiencies and issues with mechanics. To learn more about us, visit our official website at www.rpm2.com.

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