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Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009 Oct;37(4):157-64. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e3181b7b57b.

Exercise and respiratory tract viral infections.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.


Prolonged intense exercise causes immunosuppression, whereas moderate-intensity exercise improves immune function and potentially reduces risk and severity of respiratory viral infections. Here, based on available evidence, we present a model whereby moderate exercise-induced increases in stress hormones reduce excessive local inflammation and skew the immune response away from a TH1 and toward a TH2 phenotype, thus improving outcomes after respiratory viral infections.

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