Exercise If You Are Prone to Colds And Flu
Exercise may be the answer for you to prevent a cold or flu. The fact is, our ability to fight a cold or flu is based on the strength of our immune system. Further, there are factors that decrease your immune system. Some of these include:
- Strenuous Exercise.
Yes, studies show that too much exercise can lower your immune system and make you more prone to getting a cold or flu. Strenuous exercise is described as being more than 90 minutes of a high intensity endurance regime regularly. However, research has established a link between moderate, regular exercise and a strong immune system.
How Does Moderate Exercise Prevent A Cold Or Flu?
A cold or flu could be a thing of the past if you add moderate activity to your daily routine. Studies show that recreational exercisers reported fewer colds once they began exercising routinely. Moderate activity temporarily boosts the production of macrophages in our body. Macrophages, you may remember from 7th grade science class, are the cells that attack and essentially eat up foreign bacteria that enter our body. More macrophages = less chance of getting a cold or flu.
Other studies have shown that there is a physiological response in our immune systems as a result of physical activity. Immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. After exercise ends, the immune system generally returns to normal within just a few hours. However, regular exercise leads to a longer lasting immune boost. When moderate exercise is repeated daily there is a cumulative effect that leads to a long-term immune response. A professor David Nieman Ph.D of Appalachian State University did research showing that people who did a moderate intensity walk for 45 minutes per day had half as many sick days due to colds or sore throats as those who don’t exercise.
So, does exercise prevent a cold or flu? The answer is yes….and no. A Strenuous program can make you more susceptible to a cold or flu. Moderate exercise, however, does show a significant increase in our immune system and if done regularly will prevent a cold or flu.