Periods of heavy physical activity are also associated with a depressed immune function and compromised immune function can be further aggravated by inadequate nutrition. The body’s susceptibility to a respiratory infection can be elevated for 24 hours after a tough workout, and a demanding race can impair your immune function for one to two weeks. Combining training with work can overtax an endurance athlete’s resources, stress your body and compromise your ability to fight infection.
Because increased oxygen utilization during exercise can increase the production of free radicals (unstable molecules that can cause tissue damage at the cellular level), increased food intake and supplementation with antioxidants may enhance immune-system performance.
Consume a healthy diet and supplement wisely, When your immune system is compromised from training, this effect is related to elevated concentrations of stress hormones. Consuming carbohydrates before, during, and after physical activity is also a familiar practice for endurance athletes. Consuming carbohydrates seems to diminish some of the immunosuppressive effects of intense training. Carbohydrate intake before, during, and after activity results in lower cortisol levels, fewer changes in blood immune cell counts, lower oxidative activity, and a diminished inflammatory response.
So practicing yoga with optimal stores of carbohydrate not only provide fuel for your practice, but supports a strong immune system. Endurance athletes who train in the carbohydrate depleted state experience greater increases in the stress hormones that increase during exercise.
There is a window of at least several hours of depressed immune function after hard exercise. Try to stay away from individuals who have colds after hard training.