How to Maintain a Healthy Immune System While Training for a Marathon

It is no secret that training for a marathon is no walk in the park. It takes a significant amount of time, discipline, and effort to be successful at marathon training. The amount of preparation it takes to train for a marathon can certainly take a toll on your body which is why many are concerned about maintaining their immune system while going through their training program. So, how does one stay healthy throughout such a grueling process? This article will provide some tips and tricks that help even the most seasoned runners reach the finish line of their training program.

Keep Stress at the Lowest Level Possible
This is easier said than done but keeping stress at a minimum is one sure fire way to help your immune system stay intact. Consistent stress can cause your cortisol levels to increase inflammation within the body which can lead to illness, muscle fatigue, and exhaustion. The best way to keep stress at bay is to make time every day for meditation.

Just a few minutes a day of meditation, yoga, and time to decompress can make all the difference in the amount of stress that you carry with you. A good rule of thumb is to wake up in the morning and allow yourself some time to meditate before you start the day. Set your intention for the day and allow yourself to create a focus or goal for how you want your day to go. End your day prior to going to sleep with the same activity. Allow yourself a few moments to meditate and reflect on the day’s activities. How did your day go? Did you accomplish your intention? If so, relish in the fact that you reached your goal. If not, tomorrow is a new day. Allow yourself to let go and make room for a new beginning that is tomorrow.

Reduce Sugar Intake
Whether you are transitioning to a healthier lifestyle altogether by eating healthier, or you are purely looking for ways to keep your immune system healthy during your marathon training, reducing your sugar intake is going to help. Many people do not realize that by consuming sugar, it works to suppress the immune system for up to several hours after a meal. This is a little known fact that many are unaware of as there is sugar in just about everything. For great meal planning ideas, the DishQuo app can help provide flavorful recipes that are low on the glycemic index.

Use More Herbs
In addition to decreasing your sugar intake, increase your herb intake. Garlic, turmeric, thieves, cinnamon, and cloves, are all herbs that are great for your immune system, taste great, and help to cleanse the body. These herbs are easy to add to recipes and many are found to add great flavor to bland foods and drinks.

Sleep More
Another great way to boost your immune system is to give your body more sleep. Allowing your body to rest will give it time to rejuvenate and restore energy. When you are marathon training, your body will need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night but it is best to sleep more if you can.

Avoid Overtraining
It happens all the time. A runner is feeling great and doing really well with their training program and so they choose to push it and go extra hard one day. It never fails that when over training, you put yourself at a great risk of becoming injured or compromising your immune system. It can be really hard to feel like you are “coasting” through your training program but it will be worse if you fall injured or catch an illness and set yourself back in the program. It is in your best interest to be disciplined, stay the course, and follow the training program.

Drink Plenty of Water
During the training program and when you are at home or work, it is imperative that you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Doing so will help your body hydrate, keep your muscles strong and sustain energy. Your body will need more energy throughout the day as you train for the marathon so continue to drink up even if you do not feel thirsty!

After every workout, give yourself some time to stretch out your muscles. Keeping a healthy immune system is important but so is keeping your body nimble and in good shape to run and complete the marathon training program.

There are many things that you can do to maintain a healthy immune system while you train for a marathon. The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Listen to your body, get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, drink water, stretch, and keep stress at bay. Doing so will help you stay in optimal shape for your big day! Good luck!

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