Over-exercising can hurt your immune system, doctor warns

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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - If you got outside before noon Friday to enjoy the weather and exercise while still maintaining your distance - or maybe you prefer that piece of cardio equipment in your house - how hard should you strain your body and your heart rate during these times with everything going on around us?

"Generally mild to moderate exercise can suddenly boost your immunity and not have negative effects," Dr. Matt Rennels, with ProMedica Physicians Group said. "But significant or severe exercise does have the chance to weaken your immune system or cause injury and other things that would put you into increased susceptibility for infections, injuries, you name it."

So today is not the best day to race 26.2 miles, better known as a marathon.

Rennels is a sports medicine doctor, and he has a suggestion on how to manage your cardio effort.

"There is kind of two ways to do it," Rennels said. "One, you can go on perceived level of exertion. So you can something called the Borg Scale. It is a scale from six to 20 on intensity. Or you can use your heart rate that's 220 minus your age. But with each of those scales, you want to practice about moderate intensity at anywhere from 50 to 70 percent exertion or vigorous intensity from 70 to 75 percent."

If you are active multiple days per week with a cardio routine, Rennels said to keep it up and add the directions from the Centers for Disease Control. But if you are on the other end and are not active, hold off on that overly ambitious plan to get in shape.

"The important thing is to make sure it has been cleared based upon your health and your doctor is aware of it," Rennels said. "Because there are some medications and contraindications so you want to be sure of that."