Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can Exercise Help Ward Off The Swine Flu?

“Studies have concluded that exercise can enhance the immune system, but is the effect great enough to stave off swine flu? While researchers haven’t studied exercise and swine flu specifically, they have explored whether physical activity can enhance immunity and combat colds and, to a lesser extent, seasonal flu. Their findings suggest that moderate physical activity can help boost immunity but that extreme exercise can weaken the body’s defenses. ‘There is evidence that moderate exercise or physical activity can be beneficial in terms of reducing the incidence and severity of upper respiratory tract infections from all causes,’ says Jeffrey Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ‘And at least one report … has shown that exercise may be protective against influenza-associated [deaths] in the elderly.’”

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