Well, maybe not a cure but a very impressive preventative measure that may keep your flu suffering days to a minimum. With the rise in concern due to Swine Flu and Avian flu strains many people are asking whether exercise can prevent the contraction of flu or if you should engage in exercise if you have flu symptoms.
First and foremost, consult with your physician. However, there is strong evidence that most effective way to stay healthy is to strengthen the immune system and regular, moderate exercise such as walking has been shown effective in this regard in a multitude of independent studies. A stronger immune system is better equipped to battle viral and bacterial infections.
Additional recommendations include eating a well balanced healthy diet, sleeping at least 8 hours per day and reducing stress.
Treadmill desks offer an individual the ability to adhere to a moderate exercise regime automatically which in turn boosts the immune system. Additionally, studies have shown that daily walking reduces stress and promotes healthy sleep patterns.
In fact daily walking has been shown to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline (which deplete our body's natural defenses).
Further studies are showing that moderate exercise, such as walking, repeated on a dailly basis leads to a cumulative immune enhancing effect, further preventing illness. The more we stay in motion the less likely we are to contract an illness. Excessive exercise has the exact opposite effect on the immune system. This is one reason that walking is a much better pursuit for overall health then running a marathon perhaps. Excessive exercise decreases the amount of beneficial white blood cells in the body and also increases the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. This combined effect actually increases the likelihood of illness so walking is a much better alternative.
Most health experts agree that mild exercise may be helpful if you have the flu as long as you do not have a fever. Listen to your body and do not over stress it. Dehydration can be a concern, especially if you have a fever so be certain to remain well hydrated. If you do have a fever it is best to just rest until it subsides before starting even a moderate exercise program.
So what is it about walking that is so effective? Study authors believe that the moderate exercise such as walking stimulates the production of leukocytes, immune cells that fight infection and inflammation. Many other studies have shown similar statistics for major diseases affecting America today including the BIG 3: Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Cancers.