Exercise and Immunity
“No pain, no gain” is the often heard rallying cry of today’s athlete in training. Both the recreational athlete and the serious competitor undergo strenuous exercise in order to gain improved physical fitness or improved competitive results. Anecdotal reports from these individuals may include references to a perceived reduction in the incidence of infectious disease and an improved sense of well-being. 1,2 The scientific community has also demonstrated an interest in the connection between exercise and host defense against infection. This chapter will review the results of several studies relating exercise to changes in various components of the human immune system. Specifically, the effects of acute bouts of exercise and of chronic training programs on the function of the cellular and humoral compartments of the immune system will be covered. Additionally, studies on the immunopathology of the condition known as exercise-induced asthma will be reviewed.
KeywordsAcute Exercise Strenuous Exercise Natural Killer Activity Marathon Runner Untrained Individual
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