Strategies to reduce illness risk in athletes Part 2

The prevention of illness is a key component in athlete health management. Illness prevention strategies are not only important to optimise uninterrupted training, but also to reduce the risk of illness that can prevent participation in important competitions. In this second article on prevention strategies we examine current guidelines on nutritional strategies to maintain robust immunity, managing the training and competition load, proactive psychological stress management and implementing the monitoring of athletes to detect early signs and symptoms of illness, overreaching and overtraining (Schwellnus et al. 2016). Nutritional strategies The athlete support team can consider adopting nut

Strategies to reduce illness risk in athletes Part 1

In the previous blog "How common are illnesses amongst athletes? "we saw that a large number of athletes are affected by illness. The prevention of illness is a key component in athlete health management. Illness prevention strategies are not only important to optimise uninterrupted training, but also to reduce the risk of illness that can prevent participation in important competitions. Furthermore, illness prevention can also reduce the risk of medical complications during exercise. Illness prevention programs in Olympic teams have been shown to increase the sporting success of the athlete and the team. Although there is no single method that completely eliminates the risk of illness in at

Effects of exercise on immune function and risk of infection

We all suffer from colds at some time but recent research indicates that a person’s level of physical activity influences their risk of respiratory tract infections such as a cold, most likely by affecting immune function. Moderate levels of regular exercise seem to reduce our susceptibility to illness compared with an inactive lifestyle but long hard bouts of exercise and periods of intensified training put athletes at increased risk of colds and flu. Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are the most common ones that people get and include the common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis. Most are due to an infection with a virus. The average adult has two to four URTIs each year and young

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