We all know working out regularly keeps your body fit, but did you know it could also help you dodge the common cold? According to a study by Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, fitter people, those who exercise regularly (5 or more times per week), suffered fewer colds than those who workout less. Frequent exercisers also reported 43-percent fewer sick days due to upper respiratory tract infection than those who did not, according to the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. What’s more, severity of symptoms was reduced in exercisers. According to Dr. David Nieman, who led the study, “Exercise is probably the most powerful thing you can do to reduce your sick days this winter.” That’s because frequent exercise stimulates the immune system, and the more you workout, the more often your immune cells are “turned on” and ready to battle unwelcome pathogens.
The Prescription: “This is the best evidence we have thus far that regular aerobic exercise, five or more days per week for more than 20 minutes a day, rises above all other lifestyle factors in lowering sick days during the winter and fall cold seasons,” says Dr. Nieman.