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Tis’ the season, the “cold season” that is, that packs doctors' offices and pharmacies. If you’re prone to sneezing, sniffling and all of the symptoms associated with the common cold, get moving. A new study has found that exercise can help you ward the common cold. The researchers found that your best “combat mission” is to go for a brisk walk at least five times a week for 30 minutes. The study was published in the November edition of the British Medical Journal. It was conducted at the Human Performance Laboratories at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
The conclusion was that not only does exercise do your body good during the specific activity, but the later effects actually carry over to fight colds. Exercise actually calls the body’s immune cells into action approximately three hours after a workout. So, it is no surprise that the more often you exercise the more that “Immunity Army” goes to the front line to fight off harmful pathogens.
The study looked specifically at the respiratory health of 1,000 adults over the course of three months during fall and winter which is prime cold season. Specific questions about exercise and their perceived fitness level were asked of the participants. Those who worked out five or more times per week shortened the duration of their cold symptoms by about 45 percent, compared to those who did not exercise. Those who reported feeling fitter also had less severe cold symptoms than those who felt the least fit.
My personal experience with this is that of course exercise makes everything better! It also makes those icky, sick-like symptoms less severe. It allows you to bounce back quicker and get back to life and back in the game. I speak from someone who knows how much sicker I would get when severely obese as opposed to now. When I was more sedentary, it seems that my allergies would lead to a cold which would then go into my chest and lead to bronchitis. Once again, this is my observation on my personal health and symptoms. Now, if I get a cold it does not linger as long nor do I feel bedridden by the symptoms.