A new study published this month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that those that exercise regularly really do have a stronger immune system then those that live a more sedentary lifestyle. Not only do people who are more physically fit suffer fewer colds, they are also less severe when they do have them.
This is great news for those of us that exercise regularly. People often describe euphoric feelings when they begin a work out routine and those of us that exercise regularly have always claimed to have better health and fewer bouts of illness. No one would argue that if they ran their vehicle for years on end without changing oil, spark plugs, wipers, tires and other engine parts they would most likley destroy their vehicle but people seem to need a hit on the head when it comes to maintaining their own bodies. Common sense would seem to dictate that being physically fit would mean fewer health problems but that isn't always enough for the nay-sayers, they need hard evidence. Finally, a study definitively shows a connection between exercising and health.
The specifics of the article can be found here on medicalnewstoday.com. 1000 participants were followed for a 12 week period in the fall/winter of 2008 ranging in age from 18 to 85. Many variables came into play such as, aerobic exercise level, rating of their fitness overall, diet, lifestyle, stress in their lives and other key factors that effect health and wellness. Those that exercised at least 5 times a week suffered 43 to 46% fewer colds compared to those that exercised only one day a week. Half as many colds or days feeling ill simply by doing something enjoyable from bike riding or running to weight lifting or playing sports. If exercise can have an effect that dramatic on colds I wonder what else it is effecting positively that studies just haven't proven to us yet? Probably more then we think.