|Regular exercise in winter can lead to fewer colds|
|Written by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 14 November 2010 21:22|
To keep colds at bay this winter, experts claim exercise could be key, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The study reported adults who exercised regularly were sick with a cold or upper respiratory tract infection for fewer days than more sedentary adults.
Dr. Jean Swearingen, assistant medical director of Student Health Services, explained regular exercise can help strengthen the immune system.
“It appears that moderate regular exercise may increase the circulation of certain immune system cells that attack bacteria and viruses,” Swearingen said.
The most optimal level of exercise for adults should be around 30 to 40 minutes daily, or at least five days a week, Swearingen said.
However, intense exercise could have an adverse effect on the immune system.
“Very intense exercise, however, like training for or running a marathon, can adversely effect the immune system, causing an increase in stress hormones that can act as a depressant to the immune system,” she said.
Kristen Nesvacil, assistant director of Fitness and Informal Programs for Recreation Services, explained that those who cannot make it to the gym can still get exercise.
Walking to class is always a good start to stay healthy and taking the stairs instead of elevators can also help students add some exercise to their day, Nesvacil said.
“Other things that a student can do to decrease the chance of illness, is to get enough rest (at least seven hours each night), eat lots of fruits and vegetables, wash your hands regularly, avoid smoking, and get a flu shot,” Swearingen said.
Nesvacil said the recreation center on campus has witnessed a decline in center attendance and credits it to the upcoming finals period.
“We are hopeful that once the Student Fitness Center opens up on campus, students will be able to take advantage of all the wonderful programs we will have to offer year-round, even during times of the year when students are busy academically,” Nesvacil said.
Additionally, Campus Recreation offers personal training for students who would like to have an experienced trainer working with them to develop an exercise program that works for them.
“Students can hire one of our experienced trainers to help you come up with an exercise program that can be done anywhere,” she said.
Nesvacil also said at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, or at least five days a week, are necessary to stay healthy and in shape.
“Remember it’s important to workout at an intensity that is high enough to challenge yourself,” she said.