Exercise and respiratory tract viral infections

Stephen A. Martin, Brandt D. Pence, Jeffrey A. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Prolonged intense exercise causes immunosuppression, whereas moderate-intensity exercise improves immune function and potentially reduces risk and severity of respiratory viral infections. Here, based on available evidence, we present a model whereby moderate exercise-induced increases in stress hormones reduce excessive local inflammation and skew the immune response away from a TH1 and toward a TH2 phenotype, thus improving outcomes after respiratory viral infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalExercise and Sport Sciences Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Inflammation
  • Influenza
  • Physical activity
  • URTI
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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