Take the stairs!
Most of us know that regular exercise and physical activity are extremely important and beneficial for long-term health and well-being. I’m always talking to my patients about how exercise can not only help them maintain healthy bones, joints and muscles, it can even go as far as to help control anxiety and depression, as well as maintain or prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers.
Interesting information recently shared by the American Medical Association (AMA) now gives us yet, one more good reason to exercise. The CNN “The Chart” blog reported that “working out regularly helps ward off colds and flu,” according to a study published online in 2010 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Believe it or not, adults can expect to catch a cold two to four times a year, and children can expect to get six to 10 colds annually in the United States. That can add up to a lot of missed work or school time, not to mention the added risk of further complications that can arise.
The study found that “people who were physically fit and who engaged in exercise five or more days per week were about half as likely to suffer cold symptoms compared to participants who reported less physical activity.” Researchers also said that the severity of symptoms fell by 41% among those who felt fittest and by 31% among the most physically active.
As we enter into the prime season for colds and flu, adding a bit of exercise to your daily routine just might give you that little boost of immunity you need to stave off nasty cold or flu symptoms. It definitely convinced me to take the stairs instead of the elevator up to my office every day. As always, be sure to check with your physician before you start any new exercise routines– and find out if the flu vaccine is a good option for you!