Chronic Exercise

In contrast to the large number of studies on the immune response to acute exercise, much less is known concerning the effect of physical conditioning or training on immune function. This is largely due to the difficulties in separating fitness effects from the actual physical exercise, and the long duration studies that need to be performed. Thus, the changes induced by intense physical exercise may last at least 24 hours, and even moderate acute exercise induces significant immune changes for several hours. In brief, a number of human studies report that the NK cell activity as measured at rest is elevated in trained versus untrained humans [179-181] and animals [182-186], whereas the lymphocyte proliferative responses have been described as decreased [187], elevated [188,189] or unchanged [179-181,190,191] when comparing athletes and non-athletes. Neutrophil function is either suppressed [192,193] or not significantly influenced by exercise training [194,195], Neutrophil function was unchanged in athletes during a low training period, but decreased during periods of high intensity training [189,196],

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