/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
If you needed another reason to stay active, exercise is now receiving credit for helping in illness prevention such as the flu and colds that are running rampant this year. According to Fitness magazine, the right type, length and intensity of activity can help you fight the common cold or flu.
Research shows that moderate amounts of exercise such as walking, jogging, aerobics, and cycling during the cold and flu season can boost the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria.
“Moderate exercise helps boost immunity by increasing the movement of immune cells,” said David Nieman, a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. and author of the book Exercise Testing and Prescription: A Health-Related Approach. “It has the effect of cleaning up the body. But to achieve such benefits, someone has to exercise about five times a week but not push the body too far.”
What does this mean for marathoners and triathletes?
Nieman recommends that endurance athletes need to take precautions over the winter months. Their training regimen generally involves high mileage and sometimes two workouts per day. During this time it is important for the athlete to make sure they are getting adequate rest, try and keep their stress level low, and be diligent about washing hands. When an athlete begins to feel run down it is time to evaluate if it is time to back off for a day or two or push through. Taking an extra day of rest can many times mean the difference between getting all out sick or not.
Exercise and physical activity are vital parts to a personal action plan when it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season. Regular exercise allows you to improve your overall fitness which can help you to boost your immune system and increase your body’s defense against the cold, flu, or infections.