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Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Exercise - colds and flu

Definition

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.

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Review Date: 10/30/2010

Review 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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