It’s no secret that a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise can help pretty much anyone stay fitter for longer, but scientists have for the first time drawn links between certain types of exercise and a minimized flu risk.
According to the results of the study, vigorous forms of exercise like football, cycling and running could potentially reduce a person’s likelihood of contracting the flu virus.
Researchers were interested in precisely how different types and intensities of exercise choices may impact a person’s likelihood of catching the flu – exercise in the “vigorous” category proved to be the most effective of all. Their conclusion was that upward of two and a half hours of this kind of exercise each week could reduce the person’s chance of catching the flu by 10%.
Vigorous exercise was considered that which leads to highly elevated heart rate, heavier breathing and perspiration.
And while less intensive forms of exercise are of course globally recognized as essential for overall health and fitness, this particular study suggesting that they will in no way help lower anyone’s flu risk.
“We’re really interested in the preliminary findings around fitness activity and flu-like illness, as exercise is something that everyone can do to reduce your chance of having flu,” said study author Dr. Alma Adler from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“We need to treat this result cautiously as these are preliminary findings, however they are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise,”
“Although many people have dodged the flu bullet this winter, flu can occur at any time, so taking advantage of the better weather is a great opportunity to get out and get fit to ward off flu this spring.”