The flu is one of the most inconvenient illnesses you can get on a regular basis. Whether it’s catching a cold, having a dry cough, or having an on-and-off fever, the flu does not make anyone immune. However, those who exercise on a weekly basis may be able to avoid getting the flu as compared to those who do not exercise at all.
Exercise and Flu
Everyone knows that exercise gives a lot of benefits to the body. For one, it helps increase muscle strength and blood circulation. The benefit that directly prevents flu is the proper blood circulation.
Why blood circulation? Think about it this way. When you have proper blood flow, your blood cells and nutrients are able to go around your body easily. Which means that bacteria can easily be spotted wherever it is in your body. When they’ve been spotted, your body can immediately fight off the bacteria without waiting for it to develop into something more serious.
According to a survey made by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2014, people who have vigorous exercises for at least two and a half hours every week have a smaller chance to get flu. The survey contacted 4,800 people and asked them about their healthy habits including their exercise routine.
It was found that those who have frequent exercise are 10% less likely to get sick especially with fever, cough, and colds. At the same time, the survey also stated that regular two and a half hours’ worth of exercises per week can reduce flu cases by 100 every year.
However, the survey also stressed that flu can be reduced not just with any kind of exercise. The exercise that the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was referring to was vigorous exercise. This refers to strength training and cardio exercises done in a shortened amount of time. Coaches and nutritionists claim that having strenuous exercises in short amounts of time does more to your body than having prolonged periods of exercise.
Shortened Periods of Exercise
Nowadays, different fitness clubs are offering different types of exercise – Pilates, cycling, cardio, and strength training. These classes are designed to push your body for longer periods then take minimal rests in between. According to the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, high-intensity exercises improve the body’s endurance and overall fitness.
These strenuous exercises help your aerobic capacity which refers to your lungs’ and heart’s ability to provide oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. When you have enough oxygen supply in your muscles, it’s a lot easier to move and your muscles won’t quickly run out of energy.
Exercise as a Preventive Measure
Exercise is considered as a preventive medicine because while it does not exactly heal your body when you are sick, it is a good way to prevent different kinds of illnesses. There are many benefits to exercising, and some of the common benefits are better muscle strength and strengthened immune system.
Your muscles play a big role in your movement and in your daily activities. If you have weakened muscles, you tend to be inflexible and simple movements can already strain your muscles. When you exercise often, your muscles learn to withstand pain and they also become stronger as they get used to weights and different forms of movement. At the same time, continuous exercise allows you to work those muscles in preparation for old age.
When it comes to your immune system, vigorous exercise aids in preventing different kinds of heart disease. A study conducted by the Harvard Medical school found that exercise can be as effective as medicines when it comes to the prevention of coronary heart disease. Moreover, the study found that exercises are good preventive measures for stroke.
Vigorous exercise has numerous benefits and because of that, a lot of people have turned to high-intensity workouts instead of prolonged exercises spread out the whole week. According to studies, allotting at least two and a half hours a week of exercise can already do wonders for your overall health and well-being.
Just remember that while exercises can be healthy, there is still no proof that it heals your body when you already have the flu. At the same time, it is still highly recommended that when you catch the flu, you give your body ample time to rest.