Northside Health Library


Exercise - colds and flu

Alternative Names

Flu and exercise; Colds and exercise

Information

Question:

Can exercise help you avoid colds and flus?

Answer:

Exercise helps the disease-fighting white blood cells in the body move from the organs into the bloodstream.

Overall, you can improve your immune system by eating a proper diet, getting enough rest, reducing stress, and exercising regularly. This will decrease your chances of getting a cold or the flu.

Even if studies find that exercise doesn't prevent colds or the flu, exercise is good for overall health.

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Accessed October 30, 2010.

Chubak J, McTiernan A, Sorensen B, et al. Moderate-intensity exercise reduces the incidence of colds among postmenopausal women. American Journal of Medicine. 2006;119:937-942.

Martin SA, Pence BD, Woods JA. Exercise and respiratory tract viral infections. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009;37:157-164.

Turner RB. The common cold. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone;2009:chap 53.


Review Date: 10/30/2010
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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