Exercise Can Cure A Common Cold - Prevention And Suggestions

(Photos this page public domain)
(Photos this page public domain)

Exercise Can Prevent And Cure Colds

In my inter-generational martial arts classes, we have suffered very few colds over the years and we have regular exercise, along with relaxation and stress reducing drills, to thank for that. Exercise may not work for everyone, but exercise often:

  1. Builds up the immune system in order to fight off infection and
  2. Helps to work an infection out of the body faster than a sedentary lifestyle.

Sailing As Exercise

Be Captain of your own fate - your health!
Be Captain of your own fate - your health!

When someone from our classes attends and participates regularly does catch a cold, they are usually able to get rid of it in a day or so, rather than have it hang on for one or even two weeks. This is because their exercise regimen has strengthened their immune system. Few of them catch the flu, but hand washing goes along with exercise as a good prevention practice.

Exercise can often work along with other preventive methods. However, there have been a few that walked into class with the sniffles and had no symtoms remaining after a two-hour workout. Of course, anyone seriously ill is asked to go home and take care of themselves, rather than to expose others. (Always see a medical professional if you have symptoms lasting longer than a few days, or if you have an increasing fever.)

Along with my tips for preventing a common cold in Prevention to Cure the Common Cold, I must add that regular exercise is an additional preventive measure that most people can take. Even someone that is bed-bound or cannot rise from a chair can often exercise the fingers, hands, elbows, and arms & shoulders.

Others can do so with a little help, or with totally passive exercise in which someone else moves the joints for them. Passive exercise can help a little, and it can increase flexibility, but it will not boost the immune system as much as active exercise, as far as we know at this moment.

In fact, I learned a Korean finger exercise some time ago that is an aide to concentration and to metabolism. You begin with one finger of one hand and touch the tip of that finger to the other nine fingertips. When you are finished, repeat and concentrate on establishing an even rhythm of doing so. After you have mastered the rhythm, then go for speed. This all should take several minutes -- Once around the fingers will not do it!

Hospital Research

Research hospitals are learning to prevent the common cold (public domain).
Research hospitals are learning to prevent the common cold (public domain).

Passive Exercise Is Also Good

Those unable to exercise can be exercised passively (see my Hub on Fat Burning Exercises that Work). A major reason that Christopher Reeve died was that he contracted the last in a series of infections that his body could not ward off because of slowed body activity.

He had become able to move his hands and fingers and the then to take a few steps on his own under water and could have become more mobile, but he could not live long enough to do so, because there was an inordinate amount of paralysis and the inability to move fast enough and extensively enough to build up his immune system.

Wright State University Medical Center in Ohio near Dayton and Fairborn, are working to perfect regained movement in paralysis patients and they are becoming increasingly successful in doing so.

So, my advice is to exercise some way at least 12-15 minutes a day, five days a week in order to prevent a cold or to work it through your system faster.

If you cannot exercise and need some help with passive exercise, ask for help - ask medical people, family, or friends. Some church groups have volunteers who can do this and you don't have to be a member or even a believer.


Healing Exercises

And Now It's On The News!

Recently, the major TV networks have boadcast stories about the exercise "prevention" of colds. They are correct in what they have presented. However, it is not actually new research. I'd call it additional research that can attact attention to come good information:

By Deborah Ferguson

KXAS/NBC News Channel

New research suggests exercise can keep people from catching a cold, and the exercise involved doesn't need to be intense. Baylor Family Medical Center family doctor Jane Sadler's basic advice for preventing a cold centers on hygiene.

"The best thing to do is wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," she said. However, she agrees there is some benefit gained from exercise done at moderate intensity.

"We know that 30 minutes of brisk walking a day, five days a week, may be all you need to decrease your chances of getting a cold," she said. "Exercise increases our leukocyte counts. Leukocytes are white blood cells that actually fight infections, so by exercising, your white blood cell counts temporarily elevates and that will help in fighting colds symptoms and getting rid of viruses."

Sadler stressed balance with good hygiene and warned that over-training weakens the immune system and increases the chance of a cold.

Common Sense

I must agree with the hand washing regularly and avoiding over-exercise. Too much exercise is detrimental mentally and physically.

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Comments 20 comments

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 9 years ago

I believe it, good hub.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the comment!

highwaystar 9 years ago

Hey Patty, you've been involved with health, fitness and martial arts 'inner circles' for some time now, so it's not a secret that exercising has plenty of measurable benefits including physical well-being, thanks for sharing a great hub, you're much appreciated.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Hi Highwaystar - I forget I've been involved inhealth and related things for so long..LOL. I'm glad you visited this hub!

Abhinaya 9 years ago

Informative hub again Patty.I believe in exercises too.You have wonderful info about the leucocytes.This is sure going to help a lot of hubbers.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thank you Abhinaya.

One thing I learned, though, is that for people over 40 or older, their childhood vaccinations are wearing off. Whooping cough is very big here lately.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 9 years ago from London UK

Great tips Patty..

After hearing about your "martial arts classes" i won't say a bad word about this hub lol;P

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

Very true, I exercise frequently and regularly, so far I just got cold once in the last three years. Also, washing hands regularly after a chore helps.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

cgull8m - I am happy to hear that this works for you.

Exercise without washing hands is not so smart, as some of us can tell you. One young student asked me why he kept getting sick so often - I asked if he ever washed his hands during the day. "Oh." he said.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

compu-smart -

Haha. I have a male Olympic Silver Medalist and a female Gold Medalist in my group (in Nigeria) and some tournamant winners in US. But the traditional tasks are the morest notable -

Jumping though a hoop of fire to break a few boards - would you like to accompany me next time? - I will gladly give you a ride... :)

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 9 years ago from London UK

Patty wow!! i will NOT argue with you lol and thanks for the invite but unfortunetly im otherwised engaged...For a very very long time :O

homesecurityalarm 9 years ago

Great hub! Sweat it out!!!!!

Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

Excellent info, and the timing is perfect.

natalie31 profile image

natalie31 9 years ago

Very Informative - Great Hub - :)

mallu profile image

mallu 9 years ago

nice hub

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thanks everyone! - Who wants to jump through that hoop of fire with me?

M. Beck profile image

M. Beck 9 years ago from Parts Unknown

Great Hub Patty.

Just what I needed - another reason to get my rear in gear more often!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America Author

Thanks M. Beck. I hope is helps if you need it. Anyway, exercise can keep the rear easier to get into gear. LOL

Jodi 7 years ago

Interesting. I always thought exercise helps you sleep better and if you body is well-rested it can fight off sicknesses better. It's cool to see a direct corrolation between exercise and the immune system boost. I'm always looking for cold prevention tips so this is great info. Thanks!

Annk65 profile image

Annk65 6 years ago

Nice hub. Very well put together. Thank you for the information!

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