We all know that exercise helps with stress, feeling better about yourself, and your overall health, however, we recently found an article from CNN that explains that a new study suggests that working out regularly helps ward off colds and flu.
How was the study conducted?
Researchers followed a group of about 1,000 adults of all ages for 12 weeks during the winter and fall of 2008. During that time, people who logged at least 20 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise—such as jogging, biking, or swimming—on five or more days per week were sick with cold or flu symptoms for just five days, on average, compared with about 8.5 days among people who exercised one day per week or less.
Regular exercisers tended to have milder symptoms when they were ill. Compared with the people who barely exercised, those who worked out frequently rated their symptoms about 40percent less severe overall, according to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (Symptom severity was gauged with a standard questionnaire.)
So why is this? Next time you don’t feel like going to the gym think about how much shorter your next cold might be. Exercise is thought to boost the circulation of the virus-fighting white blood cells known as natural killer cells. The increased immune activity brought on by exercise only lasts for about three hours, but the cumulative effect seems to keep disciplined exercisers healthier than most.
Exercise can actually be a very powerful weapon especially during flu season for your overall health. Try to get in an hour of cardio a day, be it walking to work, taking a lunch time walk or run, riding your bike, or going to the gym after work. Getting through flu season healthy can be a very rewarding feeling.