Friday, March 5, 2010

Sick again and making the best of it!

I don't know what the heck is wrong with my immune system! I thought that I was supposed to get healthier when I exercise. When I turn my Wii Fit on it says, "Remember, as you lower your BMI you will boost your immune system!" Or something like that.

I found an article on Runner's World about a study that determined that, "Around the 90-minute mark carbohydrate stores drop, causing a spike in two key hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. This, in turn, inhibits those neutrophils and lymphocytes, leaving you vulnerable to nasty bugs." Interesting! In an article from, it states that, "[Studies] have shown that one in seven runners comes down with an upper respiratory infection after taking part in a marathon—compared with just two out of 100 runners who didn’t compete. Take part in an ultra event such as the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run, and your chances of getting sick are more like one in four."

Obvious Statement #1: I am not a marathoner OR Ultra runner.
Obvious Statement #2: I am not pushing myself to the same level as a marathoner OR Ultra runner.

But I have a theory!
I am overweight, living a newly athletic/recently static lifestyle, with a BMI that is higher than I want to comprehend. Is running 5 miles for me the same as running 30 miles for a marathoner? Hmmm... Is my immune system being compromised by my exertion?

Luckily, there are a lot of options to boost your immune system and a lot of interesting ways to recover after a hard workout. Here are just a few that I found:
- states that Echinacea is a fantastic immune booster and has been used for hundreds of years.
- There is a injury and health forum on that discusses immunity booster injections. I don't think any of the people commenting on this forum are doctors so please keep this in mind if you are considering these.
- This is the best one!!! states that sauerkraut, garlic, black tea with lemon, turmeric, and Oregano will all boost your immune system. My German Great-grandmother is getting her last laugh. :)

So, all I wanted to do with this post was share some of my research and of course complain about my sickliness. Just kidding! Well on half of that.

Happy running and I hope this post finds you healthy and immune-ful!


  1. This was incredibly interesting! Thanks for posting Amy!

  2. Very interesting thoughts! Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Best post yet, Amy, can't wait to read the next one. You continually inspire the running world and set it ablaze!

  4. I am new to your blog and loved your post! Looking forward to reading more! I hope you feel better soon! BTW< your daughter is gorgeous :)

  5. i am new to your blog and i already love it! i am a mom and a newbie runner. i will be visiting often. thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Just a little FYI... your body does actually has an immune response to exercise. Moderate exercise actually can boost your body's natural immune function for several hours after your exercise bout, whereas intense/"exhaustive" exercise can have a negative effect and lower your body's line of defense against URTI's. So what you were saying is exactly right... your body may not be used to the exercise in the same way an elite athlete may be. and so what a marathoner would consider to be intense exercise might not be the same intensity of exercise for you right now. but if you do it right, that gap will close, and you will be happier, healthier and the super star I know you are!! Good luck!! I miss you!

  7. Great input and a first time visitor! I would also add that my coach, Kevin Leathers, also called me out from across the country for winding up sick after driving down my immune system by inadequate hydration during a long run; thousands of miles away and he busted me.

    I was down for three days; lesson learned.