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Exercise - colds and flu

 

Definition

Alternative Names

Flu and exercise; Colds and exercise

Information

Question:

Can exercise help you avoid colds and flus?

Answer:

Yes. At least one study suggests that regular exercise can cut in half the number of days a person suffers from colds and the flu. Exercise helps the disease-fighting white blood cells in the body to move from the organs into the bloodstream.

Overall, you can improve your immune system by eating a proper diet, getting sufficient rest, reducing stress, and exercising regularly. This will decrease your chances of getting a cold or the flu.

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Accessed February 22, 2009.

Chubak J, McTiernan A, Sorensen B, et al. Moderate-intensity exercise reduces the incidence of colds among postmenopausal women. American Journal of Medicine. 2006;119:937-942.

Miller A. Recreational infections. In: Cohen J, Powderly WG, eds. Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. New York, NY:Elsevier;2004:chap 89.


Review Date: 2/22/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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