Flu Risk Reduced By Vigorous Exercise

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The results of a recent analysis has indicated that doing at least two and a half hours of vigorous activity that causes hard breathing or sweating each week can reduce the incidence of flu-like illnesses or flu.

The study suggests that participating in activities, such as rugby, fast cycling or running can reduce the risk of flu infection. Gentle activities, such as light jogging or walking, appeared not to have little effect on the symptoms. The data was extracted by experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine from its flu study, Flusurvey, which was done online. They discovered that across the country, overall flu levels appeared to have declined. There was a distinct decline in illness among younger people and children.

During the winter flu season, approximately 4.7% of individuals suffered from flu, compared to 6% the year before. Only 5% of children suffered from the illness, compared to 8% the year before. In excess of 4,800 individuals have so far participated in this year’s Flusurvey.

A research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr Alma Adler, has stated that they are particularly interested in these preliminary findings. Their interest has been piqued because everyone is able to reduce their chance of contracting the flu virus simply by doing exercise.

However, these results have to be treated with care as they are preliminary results. They are however consistent with results related to other conditions and have indicated the huge health benefits related to exercise.

She said that flu can occur at any point and many people have managed to dodge it during this winter’s flu season. The better weather that is looming should prompt people to take advantage of it to get adequate exercise to avoid becoming a victim of flu during the spring season.

Image credit: Ed Yourdon

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