Prevent Cold And Flu With Exercise
You’ve probably heard you shouldn’t exercise when you are sick, but did you know that regular exercise can help prevent you from getting a cold or the flu? Studies have shown that you can cut the number of days you are sick in half by exercising regularly.
In a study of 50 women, those who walked for 45 minutes five days a week showed an increase in killer cells which attack bacteria and viruses. These same women experienced half as many colds as a control group. It’s important to note this benefit came from brisk walking – a simple exercise that most people can do.
Another study showed that people who exercised as little as once a week averaged fewer sick days than those who do not exercise at all. So, not only can exercise help you to lose or maintain your weight – it can help keep you healthy!
Stick with your activity regimen and you can increase your benefit. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a year long study on the enhanced immunity from exercise. They found the effect was strongest in the final quarter of the study. According to study leader Dr. Cornelia Ulrich, “This suggests that when it comes to preventing colds, it’s really important to stick with exercise long term.”
Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre said the results of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center study are backed by evidence. He says, “I’ve always supported exercise as a way of improving health so I was pleased to see this.”
Of course, in addition to exercise, you can strengthen your immune system by getting sufficient sleep, reducing stress, and eating a proper diet.