Less Colds Following Warm-Ups
Exercise can't cure the common cold. In fact, intensely
vigorous exercise, such as running a marathon, lowers the
body's ability to fight germs. But moderately active adults
may suffer fewer colds than their more sedentary counterparts,
according to a recent study in Medicine & Science in
Sports & Exercise.
The study investigated the number of common colds in more
than 500 people of varying activity levels. For one year,
researchers tracked these individuals for the number of
upper-respiratory tract infections and total moderate-vigorous
levels of activity.
The most active individuals in the study suffered an average
of 23% fewer colds per year than the least active people.
In the fall, the difference was the most noticeable, with
32% less risk for a cold in the most active group. Forty
percent of all colds in this study were reported in the
fall.Regular physical activity appears to stimulate our
immune systems to help fight off germs, which may reduce
risk for future colds. Be sure to exercise regularly, not
only for fewer colds, but to boost self-esteem and overall
Matthews CE, Ockene IS, Freedson PS, et al. Moderate to
vigorous physical activity and risk of upper-respiratory
tract infection. Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise 2002:34(8), pp. 1242-1248.