Exercise to Avoid Flu, But Don’t Overdo it!

@DrMommy, Dr. Mommy Health Tips, Dr. Mommy Online, exercise

This guest post was written by  Jim Rollince a member of the creative writing department at Gym Source 

Exercising to avoid the seasonal flu is amongst some of the top preventative measures to take during the cold season.

Research demonstrates that a certain amount of exercise each week will help strengthen the immune system against viruses that attack during cold season. The general consensus is that 30 minutes a day/3 or 4 times a week is a perfect amount of exercise for most people. This includes things like:


For some people, they take on more challenging activities like intramural sports (i.e. – soccer). Athletes find enjoyment in athletic competition, and through this enjoyment they’re typically able to double the normal workout of the average gym visitor. Keep in mind, entertaining intramural sports can sometimes be the equivalent to two workouts combined; people should keep this in mind when frequenting the gym 3 or 4 times a week. Letting the body rest with a maximum of 2 or 3 days can eventually offset this. This brings me to my next point.

There’s also a great deal of research that shows how too much fitness can be detrimental to one’s immune system. Grueling endurance training has been known to affect the immune system negatively – This would involve running more than 40/50 miles a week. For athletes required to perform at such high levels, it’s recommended that they get immediate rest and warmth following their long sessions. Typically, this would encompass marathon and long-distance runners.

Technically speaking, during an vigorous cardio routine, the body will react with a temporary decrease in immune system function, producing certain hormones that definitively lower immunity. Otherwise known as Cortisol and Adrenaline, these stress hormones can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, further suppressing the immune system. This can ultimately lead to overtraining syndrome, which can include any of the following symptoms:

Drop in performance
Muscle Pain
Joint Pain
Decreased appetite
Increase Injury

But moderation is the key to achieving a successful workout while avoiding sickness. Again, working your body for a solid 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week will effectively help safe-guard your body from disease. Conjunctively, rest and recovery days are essential to allow your immune system to “catch up.” If you’re already ill, it’s highly recommended to avoid the gym altogether, until you’ve had a chance to get well.

About Dr. Daisy Sutherland (816 Posts)

Dr. Daisy Sutherland is a doctor, author, speaker, healthy living brand ambassador, wife & mom to 5 children. Dr. Daisy's mission is to ~ Help Busy Moms and Families achieve Happier and Healthier Lifestyles.

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