Are Intense Workouts Harming Your Immune System?

By September 28, 2016Sports

Do you exercise rigorously on a regular basis? Consider a healthy recovery training program, just like a competitive athlete.

For your muscles the be strong, you need to exercise to the point of tearing muscle fibres, as exercise increases your ability to take in oxygen. Studies show that if your intense workouts aren’t followed by easy workouts, you may be suppressing your immune system to colds and increased chances of injury.


Consecutive hard workout days reduce white blood cells, which are there to protect you from germs and infections. As overtraining increases muscle pain and prolonged exhaustion, it can affect your immunity to illness, infections and muscle recovery.

Allow Your Muscles to Heal after Intense Workouts

Your muscles are connected by thousands of individual fibres. To make them stronger, you must tear them so that they become stronger. Believe it or not, the soreness that you feel in your muscles the day after hard exercise indicates that tearing took place.

If you follow one intense workout with another, your body may sense that you are causing further damage to your muscles, reducing your white blood cells and protein intake needed for muscle healing.

It’s recommended that you do an easier workout when you feel muscle pain as a full-blown workout during muscle soreness may result in injury.

Exercise Strengthens Immunity

After vigorous exercise, you should expect to feel soreness because of muscle tearing – this is good for you! Avoid another intense workout when your muscles are healing to avoid reducing your white blood cells and proteins that kill germs and heal torn muscle.

A proper training program requires that you use intense workouts to strengthen your muscles followed by lighter workouts to allow your muscles to heal, while strengthening your immune system.

Next time you consider following an intense workout with another, see how your muscles feel after a 5-10 minute warm-up to determine whether you should go easier on your exercises that day. Remember, continuing exercise when your muscles are sore increases the chance of injury. Exercise smart to build your muscles and strength!

If you have any questions, call us at Activa Physiotherapy Ottawa to schedule an appointment with our Personal Trainer or Physiotherapist.

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