Written by Sasha Britton on behalf of Gym Source, America's #1 provider of treadmills, home gyms and all of your exercise equipment needs.
An NPR feature has brought up some information that may be useful when attempting to avoid getting sick. The feature followed a study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine that involved individuals who exercised 5 days a week, and found that of those individuals, 40% became sick fewer days than the test group who exercised one day or less. While no scientific conclusion has been drawn to explain this specific finding, there is a strong correlation between exercise and cold/flu prevention. A similar study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, W.A. produced similar findings.
Dr. David Neiman of Appalachian State University has contributed to this conversation by saying that 90 or more minutes of high intensity exercise works to wear down the human defense against colds and flu viruses. This type of exercise opens our bodies up to becoming sick for up to 24 hours after exercise has been completed.
Yoga is a great option for reaping these benefits, since each person practices to his or her own ability so as not to be hard on the body. The meditative aspect of practice serves as a one-two punch by helping to manage stress, which we know only impedes the immune system further. In addition to lowering stress levels, yoga has been lauded for centuries for improving strength, posture, flexibility, concentration, heart and lung health, and so much more.
The implications of the study are that one is exercising for at least 20 minutes on each of those 5 days, so whether you can attend an hour class or practice at home for only a half hour, most of us can certainly find the time. Even 15 minutes at the beginning and end of a busy day is great. Alternating days of yoga and cardio is also a great option to vary your routine, and in return, your fitness benefits.