Many of us exercise, others just love planning it and have romantic, dreamy ideas about how exercise (not yet done) will work wonders (in the future). There are the gym enthusiasts, whose laser can melt titanium. Exercise does wonders for our body and mind, it’s true. But a study finds that too much exercise can be harmful.
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This may seem obvious, but the researchers who carried out this study are talking about analysis at the molecular level and not just a sprained ankle from too many jumping jacks.
The research was published in the journal Military Medical Research and reported by ScienceAlert.
“People who are very physically fit may be more prone to viral respiratory infections immediately after vigorous exercise,” says Ernesto Nakayasu, a biomedical scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), quoted in a statement from the laboratory.
“Having less inflammatory activity to fight an infection could be one of the causes.”
Some previous studies have mentioned self-reported upper respiratory infection by athletes, although there is little evidence that excessive exercise increases the risk of opportunistic infection.
Before arriving at their conclusion, Nakayasu and his colleagues examined the blood plasma, urine and saliva of 11 firefighters before and after 45 minutes of vigorous exercise.
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“We wanted to take a deep look at what’s happening in the body and see if we are able to detect the danger of exhaustion in the early stages,” says Kristin Burnum-Johnson, a bioanalytical chemist at PNNL. “Perhaps we can reduce the risk of strenuous exercise for first responders, athletes and military personnel.”
It has been reported that after exercise there is a decrease in molecules linked to inflammation. In addition to this, the amount of Opiorphin, which dilates peripheral blood vessels, increased.
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“(Opiorphin) can increase blood flow to the muscles during the exercise program to improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients,” the team writes in their paper reported by ScienceAlert.
“We postulate that the decrease in inflammatory molecules we observed in saliva after exercise could represent an adaptive mechanism to improve gas exchange in response to higher cellular oxygen demand.”