Too much exercise doesn't mean great health

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  • Updated: May 19, 2014 17:06 IST

Trying different workout methods to stay fit? Just remember not to overdo it as too much exercise can be harmful.

While brisk walking for 30-45 minutes, five days a week, boosts immunity, more strenuous activities may have a negative impact on the body, says international fitness expert, Erin McCann.

When the body is exposed to physical stressors such as exercise, it responds in a similar way to how it does when exposed to mental stress — the hormone cortisol is released.

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"Cortisol stimulates energy production and improves muscle endurance, but it also acts as an immunosuppressant. Even after a moderate workout, immune function can take up to 72 hours to fully recover. This leaves individuals open to viral or bacterial infections," says McCann.

Here are a couple of ways to support immune function: Incorporate adequate recovery time into your workout schedule.

This will aid muscle recovery, reduce the risk of injury and improve immune function. Increase consumption of immune supporting nutrients and antioxidants through food. Go for Vitamin C containing foods like berries and broccoli, as well as zinc-rich foods like eggs and pumpkin seeds.

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