Exercise vigorously to keep flu away

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2014 19:15 IST

Whether it’s running, mountain biking or competitive sports, the benefits of exercise go far beyond promoting

heart health



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According to a new British study, vigorous exercise could even keep you from catching flu next winter. Intense physical activity stimulates the

immune system

, according to a study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and presented at National Science and Engineering Week, which took place in the UK.


The researchers’ findings were based on the results of the Flu Survey, an online project that collected dataabout the seasonal illness from volunteers.


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Around 4,800 people took part in the survey, answering questions on their exercise habitsand lifestyle factors. Based on the results, the researchers determined that 100 out of every 1,000 cases of theflu could have been prevented through two-and-a-half hours of vigorous exercise per week.

"We need to treat this result cautiously as these are preliminary findings," say Dr Alma Adler, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The results of the Flu Survey matched with those found during a previous study published in the Journal of Cardiology, which showed that intensive exercise provided a boost to the immune system.

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