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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Strenuous exercise 'myth' challenged by new university research

Research by University of Bath could finally overturn the persistent myth that strenuous exercise suppresses the body's immune system and makes people "more susceptible to infections".

Published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, the research reinterprets scientific findings from the last few decades and argues that exercise – instead of hampering immunity – could be beneficial for immune health.

Research on marathon runners in the 1980s suggested that many competitors had symptoms of infections in the period after races. This lead to an understanding that strenuous exercise increases infection risk by suppressing the immune system.

The University of Bath report entitled Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan, however, turns the tables on those long-held beliefs.

The study looked at the way in which immune cells react to exercise.

During exercise, the number of immune cells in the bloodstream can increase by up to 10 times. In the hours following exercise, the number of peripheral blood lymphocyte – and the functional capacity of the lymphocyte pool – is then decreased below pre-exercise levels. This has led to some to propose that exercise induces a short-term window of immune suppression.

The study suggests that, rather than been "lost", the cells move to other parts of the body which are more likely to become infected – such as the lungs.

"The acute and transient lymphopenia, one to two hours after exercise, is beneficial to immune surveillance and regulation," the report states.

"In what appears to be a highly specialised and systematic response, exercise redeploys immune cells to peripheral tissues – such as mucosal surfaces – to conduct immune surveillance.

"This means that there is strong evidence that a reduction in the frequency and function of lymphocytes (and other immune cells) in peripheral blood in the hours following vigorous and prolonged exercise does not reflect immune suppression.

"Instead, the observed lymphopenia represents a heightened state of immune surveillance and immune regulation driven by a preferential mobilisation of cells to peripheral tissues.

"As such, nutritional interventions, which have been employed to dampen the magnitude of exercise lymphopenia are unlikely to reduce the incidence of infections, but interventions that augment exercise-induced lymphocyte trafficking may provide benefits."

To read the full report, click here for the Frontiers in Immunology website

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Research by University of Bath could finally overturn the persistent myth that strenuous exercise suppresses the body's immune system and makes people "more susceptible to infections".
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,TRA,RES
THUMB26303_10761.jpg
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News

Strenuous exercise 'myth' challenged by new university research

Research by University of Bath could finally overturn the persistent myth that strenuous exercise suppresses the body's immune system and makes people "more susceptible to infections".

Published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, the research reinterprets scientific findings from the last few decades and argues that exercise – instead of hampering immunity – could be beneficial for immune health.

Research on marathon runners in the 1980s suggested that many competitors had symptoms of infections in the period after races. This lead to an understanding that strenuous exercise increases infection risk by suppressing the immune system.

The University of Bath report entitled Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan, however, turns the tables on those long-held beliefs.

The study looked at the way in which immune cells react to exercise.

During exercise, the number of immune cells in the bloodstream can increase by up to 10 times. In the hours following exercise, the number of peripheral blood lymphocyte – and the functional capacity of the lymphocyte pool – is then decreased below pre-exercise levels. This has led to some to propose that exercise induces a short-term window of immune suppression.

The study suggests that, rather than been "lost", the cells move to other parts of the body which are more likely to become infected – such as the lungs.

"The acute and transient lymphopenia, one to two hours after exercise, is beneficial to immune surveillance and regulation," the report states.

"In what appears to be a highly specialised and systematic response, exercise redeploys immune cells to peripheral tissues – such as mucosal surfaces – to conduct immune surveillance.

"This means that there is strong evidence that a reduction in the frequency and function of lymphocytes (and other immune cells) in peripheral blood in the hours following vigorous and prolonged exercise does not reflect immune suppression.

"Instead, the observed lymphopenia represents a heightened state of immune surveillance and immune regulation driven by a preferential mobilisation of cells to peripheral tissues.

"As such, nutritional interventions, which have been employed to dampen the magnitude of exercise lymphopenia are unlikely to reduce the incidence of infections, but interventions that augment exercise-induced lymphocyte trafficking may provide benefits."

To read the full report, click here for the Frontiers in Immunology website

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Research by University of Bath could finally overturn the persistent myth that strenuous exercise suppresses the body's immune system and makes people "more susceptible to infections".
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,TRA,RES
THUMB26303_10761.jpg

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Why does indoor cycling attract so many loyal followers? Abi Harris ask industry innovators how much is down to the instructor and what part the kit has to play
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Lauren Heath-Jones rounds up the latest product launches in health and fitness
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Personal trainers play a key role in the gym environment, helping members to achieve their fitness goals. But are the current training models allowing them to do this in the best possible way? Or could they be doing more? We ask our panel of experts
Features
Gen Z
Gen Z has come of age, and is engaging with fitness in new ways. We look at how health clubs can appeal to this young, tech-savvy and value-conscious age group
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Thanks to the rise in popularity of functional zones, there’s been an increased call for turf. We take a look at some of the turf products being installed
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Technogym’s SKILLRUN now comes in different versions to suit different users’ workout needs
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Dyaco grows UK business with new headquarters and key appointment
Following a year of strong growth, leading fitness equipment provider Dyaco has moved to a new UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, marking a significant milestone for the company.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Fusion Lifestyle incorporates Power Plate into ‘INTENCITY Studios’
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More videos:
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Company profile: Balanced Body®
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Core Health & Fitness is the world’s largest privately-held marketer and distributor of commercial fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
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Exercise equipment
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Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
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