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Effects of Exercise on Immune Function, A Double-edged Sword?

Nobody calls into question that exercising is beneficial for our health. Besides, these benefits are multisystem, which means that they affect the many systems of our body in a coordinated way (e.g., cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, etc.) One of these systems is the immune one, divided into the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. Among many other functions, these systems are in charge of protecting us against infections, and their importance has been proven during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, how does exercise affect our immune system?

The importance of Gut Microbiota in Athletes

Gut microbiota (collection of bacteria living in the human gut) has received special attention in the last years due to the numerous studies that link its functioning with health. Thus, dysbiosis of the gut microbiota (this is, alteration in the composition or functioning of such bacteria), which can happen due to multiple factors such as poor nutrition, high levels of stress or antibiotics overuse, is linked to the development of numerous metabolic and inflammatory pathologies.

How does alcohol intake affect athletes?

Even in moderate doses, alcohol is part of the daily life of a large part of the population. This does not exclude athletes, who often end the sports day socializing or celebrating with a drink. Everyone knows that alcohol consumption can have significant health consequences.

What is the real risk of infection during a match?

Physical distance is one of the most important measures to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 infection.1,2 However, maintaining the recommended interpersonal distance is not possible in most sports, including football. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers team sports high-risk for COVID-19 due to the physical contact and proximity between the players.3 However, the scientific evidence supporting the probability of spreading the virus during a football game is limited. Can football be considered a high-risk sport?

Strategies to reduce the negative side effects of travelling on athletes

Travelling is part of the daily life of many athletes, especially among elite athletes. Thus, it is common for athletes to make frequent short trips every week, and even some long trips (> 3 hours). Travelling, although necessary on many occasions, can have adverse effects on athletes’ health and performance.

How to improve players’ concentration for training and a match in team sports

Michael Jordan, one of the best basketball players ever, used to say that it doesn’t matter how many hours you train; only the hours you are focused in training count.

Do players run less in the second half of a game?

Professional footballers’ physical performance has been widely studied over the last 25 years.

THE EFFECT OF RELATIVE AGE ON THE IDENTIFICATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS TALENT

The effect of relative age refers to the difference in skills between people who have been grouped for a particular purpose or function based on age.

Sleep, a cornerstone for the athlete’s health and performance

Sleep plays a key role in people’s health in general and, besides, it is an essential biophysiological variable for athletes.

How does the menstrual cycle and contraceptives influence women’s performance?

High performance sport is becoming more equal, and women participate as much as men in most disciplines.