Position statement. Part two

Maintaining immune health

Neil P Walsh, Michael Gleeson, David B. Pyne, David C Nieman, Firdaus S. Dhabhar, Roy J. Shephard, Samuel J. Oliver, Stephane Bermon, Alma Kajeniene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

233 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The physical training undertaken by athletes is one of a set of lifestyle or behavioural factors that can influence immune function, health and ultimately exercise performance. Others factors including potential exposure to pathogens, health status, lifestyle behaviours, sleep and recovery, nutrition and psychosocial issues, need to be considered alongside the physical demands of an athlete's training programme. The general consensus on managing training to maintain immune health is to start with a programme of low to moderate volume and intensity; employ a gradual and periodised increase in training volumes and loads; add variety to limit training monotony and stress; avoid excessively heavy training loads that could lead to exhaustion, illness or injury; include non-specific cross-training to offset staleness; ensure sufficient rest and recovery; and instigate a testing programme for identifying signs of performance deterioration and manifestations of physical stress. Inter-individual variability in immunocompetence, recovery, exercise capacity, non-training stress factors, and stress tolerance likely explains the different vulnerability of athletes to illness. Most athletes should be able to train with high loads provided their programme includes strategies devised to control the overall strain and stress. Athletes, coaches and medical personnel should be alert to periods of increased risk of illness (e.g. intensive training weeks, the taper period prior to competition, and during competition) and pay particular attention to recovery and nutritional strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-103
Number of pages40
JournalExercise Immunology Review
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Walsh, N. P., Gleeson, M., Pyne, D. B., Nieman, D. C., Dhabhar, F. S., Shephard, R. J., ... Kajeniene, A. (2011). Position statement. Part two: Maintaining immune health. Exercise Immunology Review, 17, 64-103.
Walsh, Neil P ; Gleeson, Michael ; Pyne, David B. ; Nieman, David C ; Dhabhar, Firdaus S. ; Shephard, Roy J. ; Oliver, Samuel J. ; Bermon, Stephane ; Kajeniene, Alma. / Position statement. Part two : Maintaining immune health. In: Exercise Immunology Review. 2011 ; Vol. 17. pp. 64-103.
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Walsh, NP, Gleeson, M, Pyne, DB, Nieman, DC, Dhabhar, FS, Shephard, RJ, Oliver, SJ, Bermon, S & Kajeniene, A 2011, 'Position statement. Part two: Maintaining immune health', Exercise Immunology Review, vol. 17, pp. 64-103.

Position statement. Part two : Maintaining immune health. / Walsh, Neil P; Gleeson, Michael; Pyne, David B.; Nieman, David C; Dhabhar, Firdaus S.; Shephard, Roy J.; Oliver, Samuel J.; Bermon, Stephane; Kajeniene, Alma.

In: Exercise Immunology Review, Vol. 17, 2011, p. 64-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Position statement. Part two

T2 - Maintaining immune health

AU - Walsh, Neil P

AU - Gleeson, Michael

AU - Pyne, David B.

AU - Nieman, David C

AU - Dhabhar, Firdaus S.

AU - Shephard, Roy J.

AU - Oliver, Samuel J.

AU - Bermon, Stephane

AU - Kajeniene, Alma

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - The physical training undertaken by athletes is one of a set of lifestyle or behavioural factors that can influence immune function, health and ultimately exercise performance. Others factors including potential exposure to pathogens, health status, lifestyle behaviours, sleep and recovery, nutrition and psychosocial issues, need to be considered alongside the physical demands of an athlete's training programme. The general consensus on managing training to maintain immune health is to start with a programme of low to moderate volume and intensity; employ a gradual and periodised increase in training volumes and loads; add variety to limit training monotony and stress; avoid excessively heavy training loads that could lead to exhaustion, illness or injury; include non-specific cross-training to offset staleness; ensure sufficient rest and recovery; and instigate a testing programme for identifying signs of performance deterioration and manifestations of physical stress. Inter-individual variability in immunocompetence, recovery, exercise capacity, non-training stress factors, and stress tolerance likely explains the different vulnerability of athletes to illness. Most athletes should be able to train with high loads provided their programme includes strategies devised to control the overall strain and stress. Athletes, coaches and medical personnel should be alert to periods of increased risk of illness (e.g. intensive training weeks, the taper period prior to competition, and during competition) and pay particular attention to recovery and nutritional strategies.

AB - The physical training undertaken by athletes is one of a set of lifestyle or behavioural factors that can influence immune function, health and ultimately exercise performance. Others factors including potential exposure to pathogens, health status, lifestyle behaviours, sleep and recovery, nutrition and psychosocial issues, need to be considered alongside the physical demands of an athlete's training programme. The general consensus on managing training to maintain immune health is to start with a programme of low to moderate volume and intensity; employ a gradual and periodised increase in training volumes and loads; add variety to limit training monotony and stress; avoid excessively heavy training loads that could lead to exhaustion, illness or injury; include non-specific cross-training to offset staleness; ensure sufficient rest and recovery; and instigate a testing programme for identifying signs of performance deterioration and manifestations of physical stress. Inter-individual variability in immunocompetence, recovery, exercise capacity, non-training stress factors, and stress tolerance likely explains the different vulnerability of athletes to illness. Most athletes should be able to train with high loads provided their programme includes strategies devised to control the overall strain and stress. Athletes, coaches and medical personnel should be alert to periods of increased risk of illness (e.g. intensive training weeks, the taper period prior to competition, and during competition) and pay particular attention to recovery and nutritional strategies.

KW - Circadian Rhythm

KW - Exercise

KW - Humans

KW - Immune System

KW - Infection Control

KW - Nutritional Physiological Phenomena

KW - Sleep Wake Disorders

KW - Stress, Psychological

KW - Journal Article

KW - Review

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 64

EP - 103

JO - Exercise Immunology Review

JF - Exercise Immunology Review

SN - 1077-5552

ER -

Walsh NP, Gleeson M, Pyne DB, Nieman DC, Dhabhar FS, Shephard RJ et al. Position statement. Part two: Maintaining immune health. Exercise Immunology Review. 2011;17:64-103.