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Exercise Can Cure A Common Cold - Prevention And Suggestions

Updated on October 27, 2015
(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

Winter Sports

Martial Arts

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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