Exercise to Reduce a Cold

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Does Exercise Really Help Reduce A Cold?

We are at the time year when winter is quickly coming to an end and spring is about to go into full swing.  For some this may not matter depending on where you live, but I can tell you living in Seattle this means chances of more sun!  This transition time between winter and spring also ends up with many people getting a cold or some type of virus.  You have probably heard somewhere at sometime that exercise reduces the duration and symptoms of having a cold.  But is that even true or just an old wives tale?  Keep on reading to find out if exercise truly does help prevent and reduce a cold.

What Does The Research Say About Exercising To Reduce A Cold?

There is more research out there but I found this article below, have a read:

Should you work out when you feel like you're coming down with a cold? According to the research, this may in fact be a good idea.

At the very least, it is unlikely to do you any harm unless you exercise too vigorously.

In one such study, participants were infected with a cold virus and then divided into two groups: an exercise group or a non-exercise group.

The exercise group did 40 minutes of supervised exercise every other day at 70 percent of their maximum heart rate.

At the end of the 10-day trial, the researchers concluded that while there were no differences in the severity or duration of the symptoms between the two sets of subjects, there was a difference in how they assessed their own cold symptoms.

The exercisers reported feeling better overall compared to those who remained sedentary.

Active People Suffer Fewer Colds

Other studies have clearly shown that regular exercise will help prevent catching colds in the first place.

For example, one 2002 study found that those who exercised regularly suffered 20-30 percent fewer coldsii. Other studies demonstrate an even greater impact.

According to a 2006 trial, regular, moderate exercise reduced the risk of colds in postmenopausal womeniiiby half. The year-long study examined 115 sedentary, overweight, postmenopausal women, none of whom smoked or took hormone-replacement therapy. Half were assigned to an aerobic exercise group and the other half attended a weekly stretching class only.

The patients in the exercise group were asked to work out about 45 minutes a day, five days a week, but they were only able to reach the 30-minute mark per day, with brisk walking accounting for the bulk of their body work. By the end of the study, the women who performed aerobic exercises on a weekly basis had half the risk of colds of those who did stretching only.

The ability of moderate exercise to ward off colds also seemed to increase the longer it was used. In the final three months of the study, the stretching-only group had a three-fold higher risk of colds than the exercisers.

The fact that the enhanced immunity was strongest in the final quarter of the year-long trial suggests it is important to stick with exercise long term to get the full effects. I've often said it's crucial to treat exercise like a drug that must be properly prescribed, monitored and maintained for you to enjoy the most benefits. That also means that you can't bank exercise either; it's not like money. Even if you were a world-class athlete, in about two weeks of not exercising you will tend to start to experience deconditioning.

Read the full article here

So What Type of Exercise Is Best For Cold Fighting?

Of course I am going to advocate for bodyweight training exercises here.  Bodyweight training allows you to get more done in less time, especially if you turn up the intensity and also makes it much easier for you to actually show up and workout compared to having to go to a gym.  Bodyweight training encompasses anything from high intensity interval training (HIIT) to isometric or plyometric exercises.  As the research shows, those who exercise more both feel better through colds and have the ability to fight them off from forming.  However long endurance cardio may increase your likelihood of getting a cold.

Final Thoughts On Exercise To Reduce Colds

Many health officials often say that if there was a magic bullet for health it would be exercise in a pill or bottle.  The reason here is because the mighty positive compounding effects to produces in the body.  Following that advice, bodyweight training bodyweight training combined with dumbbells is all you need.  No gym is ever required for you to get in tip top shape and experience the amazing health benefits of working out.  Make exercise fun and easy by removing the roadblocks that will prevent you from showing up at least 3 days a week.

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