People who are physically active throughout the year are less likely to catch cold, says a new study. According to the Appalachian State University, North Carolina, study team, regular physical activities could halve the risk of getting a cold.
Even when an active person gets a cold, the infection is usually mild in nature.
The findings have been reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. One thousand volunteers, aged between 18 and 85 years, participated in the study. Researchers took into account the lifestyle issues of the participants, which included their fitness levels and dietary habits.
However, you might not cut your risk of getting a cold solely with regular workouts. You can even bolster your immunity simply by thinking that you are fit. The study showed that the risk of catching cold might be reduced by nearly 50 per cent by being physically active and also by feeling fit.
During the 12-week study period, from winter to fall, researchers observed that the symptoms of cold lasted for not more than five days in physically active people, whereas people accustomed to sedentary lifestyle were likely to suffer from cold symptoms for about nine days.
Even when physically active people contracted cold, the symptoms were mild in nature. While the severity of symptoms could be reduced by up to 31 per cent through regular exercises, by simply feeling fit, you can cut the severity of the symptoms by 41 per cent.
Production of immune cells increases temporarily during workouts. This helps to improve the body’s ability to fight invading microorganisms. However, few hours after the workout session, the immune cells returns to their original level. Nonetheless, the temporary rise in the immune cells is usually enough to lower the risk of cold and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Moreover, frequency of colds is lower in married people, men and in older people. Including enough fruits in the diet could prevent cold. Poor sleep, low energy level and a nutrient deficient diet increase vulnerability to cold.
On average, an adult has a risk of having two to four colds each year, while children are likely to suffer from cold six times a year.