Appalachian State

Health Alerts: Safely use exercise to fight colds and flu

December 31, 2012

By: Laura Schwed, Dallas News

COLD and FLU

To boost immunity, get a move on

If you needed another reason to stay active, exercise is now receiving props for helping thwart illnesses. According to Fitness magazine, the right type, length and intensity of activity can help you fight the common cold or flu.

“Moderate exercise helps boost immunity by increasing the movement of immune cells,” said David Nieman, a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. But not all sweat sessions are created equal. Long, intense workouts can leave you exhausted and compromise your immune system.

If you’re already sick? “Heavy exertion during an illness, particularly a fever or flu, can worsen and prolong your symptoms. … But a runny nose isn’t a free pass to lounge in bed.” If you have a minor headache, minor cough, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing or a mildly sore throat, you’re good to go. But more severe symptoms such as migraine, chest congestion, wheezing, body aches and fever are prohibitive. In any case, don’t push to the point of being exhausted.

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