Regular exercise wards off colds and flu

Earlier this week I discussed how regular exercise can reduce your risk of depression. It can also help you reduce your risk or colds and the flu.

The CNN “The Chart” blog reported, “Working out regularly helps ward off colds and flu,” according to a study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

HealthDay reported that after collecting “data on 1,002 men and women from ages 18 to 85,” investigators “tracked the number of upper respiratory tract infections the participants suffered” over 12 weeks during the fall and winter of 2008.

Study participants also “reported how much and what kinds of aerobic exercise they did weekly.”

The study authors found that “people who were physically fit and who engaged in exercise five or more days per week were about half as likely to suffer cold symptoms compared to participants who reported less physical activity,” WebMD (11/1, Hendrick) reported.

“What is more, researchers say the severity of symptoms fell by 41% among those who felt fittest and by 31% among the most physically active.”

According to MedPage Today, “In addition to the number of days spent with an upper respiratory tract infection, the severity and symptomatology of such infections was reduced as well, by 32% to 41% between the high versus low aerobic activity and physical fitness tertiles (P<0.05 for all). There were also significant reductions in the middle tertiles.

So, ’tis the season to begin some regular exercise. The benefits are huge!

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