You Can Reduce The Frequency And Severity Of Your Colds — In The Gym.
In all likelihood, you’re one of 62 million people who will catch a cold this year. But guess what, Sneezy? A recent study, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, reports that people who are physically fit and active have fewer and milder colds.
The findings were based on the study of 1,000 adults, up to the age of 85, whose respiratory health was tracked for 12 weeks during the autumn and winter months.
Being older, male, and married, seemed to reduce the frequency of colds, but — after taking into account all influential factors, the most significant were fitness and the amount of exercise taken.
The number of days with symptoms among those who said they were physically active on five or more days of the week was almost half (46% less) than for those who exercised only one, or fewer, days of the week.
The severity of symptoms fell by 41% among the fittest and by 31% among those who were most active.
According to the study’s authors, bouts of exercise spark a temporary rise in the immune system cells circulating around the body. Although these levels fall back within a few hours, each bout is likely to enhance the surveillance of harmful viruses and bacteria, thus reducing the number and severity of infections, including the common cold.
In the US, the average adult can expect to have two to four colds a year, while children can catch between half a dozen and 10 colds a year — all of which costs the US economy around $40 billion dollars.
So have your money — and your health. Wash your hands, disinfect, and sure; echinacea, vitamin C, zinc and all that other stuff, too. And if you want to add that extra bit of insurance to the list, get yourself to the gym. And breath easy.