We all have things that help us recover after a tough workout. For some of us, itâ€™s taking a walk around the track. For others, itâ€™s lying down and enjoying a nap. But for all of us, itâ€™s our immune system.
Thereâ€™s no denying that, without a healthy immune system, thereâ€™s absolutely no recovery from athletic training. Unfortunately, consideration of this rarely â€” if ever â€” crosses an athleteâ€™s mind.
Today, the only time the immune system comes to mind is during illness. And while the immune system is indeed our bodyâ€™s natural defense, thatâ€™s only part of its job. The immune system is also tasked with healing and helping the body rebuild. The immune system is integral when trying to achieve optimum health and fitness, and it must be maintained well.
Why is this so important?
Athletes tend to fall into a cycle that plays out over and over again: train, rest, recover, rebuild. The efficiency of the last two steps directly determines how well the next training session goes and how quickly it begins. Without a strong and healthy immune system, athletes can suffer one of two problems:
- Longer time between sessions: Athletes will have to wait longer between training sessions to fully recover, which will result in fewer training sessions. In other words, outcomes are reduced because training has been minimized.
- Overtraining: This occurs when the athlete trains, even when he hasnâ€™t fully recovered. Overtraining kicks into motion the law of diminishing returns, making each workout increasingly less effective.
All high-level athletes have one thing in common: their work ethic. When something stunts this work ethic â€” which both of the above problems undoubtedly will â€”Â then no one is happy. A healthy immune system will keep an athleteâ€™s ability to work consistent and worthwhile.
Donâ€™t forget your diet
What a person consumes directly affects his immune system. Many athletes already follow a healthy diet, but thereâ€™s always room for improvement.
If an athleteâ€™s diet is laden with low-quality drinking water and processed, chemically enhanced foods, the immune system has the potential to go into overdrive. The immune system must process the effects of these foods, often causing it to become stressed and worn thin. Throw this on top of the existing stress from training, and youâ€™ve got one suffering system. This not only makes you tired, but it also makes you susceptible to illness â€” a double whammy.
Make some changes!
You can improve your immune system by taking these four factors into consideration:
- Diet: I know Iâ€™ve mentioned it already, but I canâ€™t stress enough how important it is to adhere to a clean, balanced diet. Avoid processed foods and chemicals that cause the immune system to work too hard.
- Sleep: Our bodies rebuild during rest. By maintaining a proper sleep schedule, your immune system has a chance to function at an extremely high level.
- Stress: Stress is never good, and stress on the immune system is no exception. Balance is the key to reducing chronic stress;Â reduce your stress level to give your immune system a fighting chance.
- Supplements: While sleep, diet, and exercise are all essential for high performance, theyâ€™re sometimes not enough. You may need to supplement. Science has developed IgY Recovery Proteins to aid in the fight for a well-functioning immune system. When youâ€™ve done all you can with your own routines, you can let science handle the rest.
By taking active steps to improve your own immune system, youâ€™ll begin to notice faster and more efficient recovery times. The next time you set down your weights, reconsider your recovery process. Your immune system â€” and your training regimen â€” will thank you!