Showing posts with label immunity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label immunity. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2012

When having a "natural killer" is a good thing

NK cells, Mother Nature's assasins
The thing about colds is that you can sense they're coming long before they arrive. Colds often start with a scratchy throat that turns into the sniffles, a cough, and a bunch of other fun symptoms. The oft-quoted phrase is, "Three days coming, three days staying and three days going." After I started taking a daily multivitamin in the early '90's, I got far fewer colds. But when I did, they would be intense.

Since I started running in the fall of 2008, the intensity of my colds has dropped noticeably. With the exception of my pneumonia experience, I can't remember feeling particularly ill for more than a day in the past four years. According to WebMD, "Regular exercise appears to have the advantage of being able to jump-start the immune system, and that can help reduce the number of colds you get." The site says that "With exercise...natural killer cells, increase by as much as 50% to 300%."

I plowed through a couple of hard runs over the weekend despite my symptoms, and the intensity of this cold has not increased past the "mildly distracting" stage. I do believe there is something to this "natural killer cell" theory promoted by my running. Despite the name, it's a great concept.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What you don't want during taper week

Last night was my daughter's winter concert and this extended an already-long work day. I went to bed intending to run outside this morning but I woke up tired and with a headache. I've been feeling a little run down over the last week and, last night, I started to experience the first symptoms of a cold. I'm still planning to run in Sunday's 5K race and skipping today's run has thrown off my taper plan.

If the weather is okay tomorrow (and I'm feeling better) I'll run with Adventure Girl who has spent most of this year doing wilderness research in Big Sky Country. The best wilderness I can offer is the bridal trail in Central Park. I hope it's not too rainy because that trail can get muddy.

Between coffee, antihistamine and aspirin I'm hoping to recover enough to get through the day. This will be the first night this week where I don't have evening plans. I'll try to get some rest by turning in a little early. I'm always annoyed when I get colds, because I expect my running to provide me with an enhanced immune system. Perhaps it does. After all, I could feel a lot worse.

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