Over-training and Weakened Immune Systems

A lot of people are including exercise programs in their daily lives to gain muscle mass and reduce fat. Many

however, make the mistake of training for extended hours to achieve their goals. Too much training may not give the results

that these people are looking for. This practice may lead to fatigue and over-training.

Over-training can cause physical and mental illness because of excessive intensity of training and not having

sufficient time to rest and recover. This incident is common in weight-lifters, runners, and other athletes. Studies show

that about 10-20% of athletes over-train.

Athletes—professional or amateur carry a higher risk of getting sick. Over the past years, doctors caring for

athletes have reported a rise of respiratory infections because of over-training. Health experts say that as individuals

increase their total training load, the risk of illness also rises. This phenomenon can be attributed to the rise cortisol in

the body. Cortisol is a vital hormone that is often referred to as the “stress hormone”. Intense or prolonged exercise may

cause large increases in cortisol levels and a decrease in the production of “T-cells,” a group of white blood cells that

play a key role in the immune system.

The mental stress that are encountered by athletes may also impair the body’s immune function. Expectations of

coaches, family members, and other people can contribute to a drop in performance and the increase of acquiring infections.

Injuries, the actual stress of competition may all aggravate psychological stress. Diminished immune systems encountered by

athletes are resembles those that are experienced by people who undergo hypertension and sleep deprivation. In recent

studies, highly stressed individuals had high incidences of respiratory ailments over a period of six months compared to

unstressed individuals.

Aside impaired immune system, men who over-train may also also experience a temporary reduction in sperm count and

quality. This happens because the body literally kills itself during training and needs time to recuperate to build muscles

and improve the body. Too much or too intense physical activity may reduce the level of hormones in the bloodstream and

therefore affect sperm production. Sperm quality and production may return to normal after three days. Health specialists add

that drinking a cup of coffee a couple of hours after training may help improve sperm quality and quantity because of the

anti-oxidants it contain.

People who over-train may also experience the following:

.lack of energy
.insomnia
.headaches
.dehydration
.depression
.decreased appetite
.increased risk of injury
.respiratory infection
.muscle pains
.high blood pressure

Individuals who decide to make adjustments on their exercise routines are encouraged to consult doctors and other

health professionals for workout advice. This is important because a lot of individuals tend to workout too much, improperly,

and use the inappropriate equipments. Health professionals may device an appropriate workout program to complement one’s

health needs. Understanding proper workout and including a healthy diet in one’s lifestyle may lead to improved health and

overall well-being.

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