Research contained in the current edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that regular exercise will reduce the occurrence and severity of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. The study followed 1000 subjects over a 12 week period of Fall and Winter. Those who exercise 5 or more days a week for 20 minutes or more (ie those who described their activity level as equivalent to a brisk walk vs sedentary individuals who exercise 1 time or less per week), had a 40% reduction in days sick as well as the severity of illness was reduced by 30% in the fit group. The authors postulate that the effectiveness of exercise is only short lived and therefore it is necessary to get regular daily exercise to reap the benefit.
So if you are thinking of getting into that exercise program, here is one more reason to help spur you on. Or, if you are on the fitness bandwagon already, this is more good news regarding the benefits to your health and well being to help get you through your next workout (and cold season).
Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults, David C Nieman, Dru A Henson, Melanie D Austin, Wei Sha ; Br J Sports Med: 1 November 2010.