Client Moon Kua attests to experiencing less fevers and eliminating the common cold with exercise. She is E’s FITNESS’ model example of a study in the United States. A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching cold viruses and, failing that, made the infection less severe. Experts said that this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs. US researchers asked the healthy volunteers to keep a record of any coughs and sniffles they experienced over a three-month period during the autumn and winter. The volunteers were also asked to say how frequently in any given week they would do exercise lasting at least 20 minutes and intensive enough to break a sweat.
And they were questioned about lifestyle, diet and recent stressful events, as these can all affect a person’s immune system. Being older, male and married seemed to reduce the frequency of colds, as did eating plenty of fruit. But the most significant factors that cut colds was how much exercise a person did and how fit they perceived themselves to be.
Feeling fit and being active cut the risk of having a cold by nearly 50%. People who were physically active on five or more days of the week were unwell with a cold for about five days of the three-month period, compared to nine days for those who did little or no exercise.
And even when they were ill, they suffered less with their symptoms.T he severity of symptoms fell by 41% among those who felt the fittest and by 31% among those who were the most active.