Exercise – The Cold and Flu Fighter
We all know that exercising keeps our bodies well-tuned and healthy, but did it ever cross your mind that exercising on a regular basis can actually help your body prevent the common cold and even flu symptoms?
Studies have shown that combined with a balanced diet and plenty of sleep, 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise 4-5 times a week can actually decrease your risk of getting a cold by 20-30%. Regular exercise will boost your immune system and stabilize insulin levels leaving your body feeling strong and working hard to fight off the germs.
Now, there is debate as to whether we should continue to work out on those occasions where we do come down with a cold or flu like symptoms. The opinion of many fitness professionals is that if you have the energy and strength to tolerate it you should definitely participate in exercise as long as you don’t overdo it. The increase in body temperature and sweating from exercise will act just like a fever to fight off the virus. However, please be courteous to yourself and those around you. Germs spread easily, so finding ways to workout at home may be the best option. Pop in an aerobics DVD, take a brisk walk outside, or perform some body-weight exercises if you have the space inside your home. And, of course, make sure to drink plenty of water, take breaks when needed, and increase your sleep, if possible.
The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) suggests that we get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. That comes out to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Let’s all make this year a happy and healthy year by challenging ourselves to make that commitment.
By the Staff at Franciscan Omni Health & Fitness