Diet and exercise give us all many benefits. One of the best ones is the advantage it gives over the battle of the flu bug
After a study of exercise using mice it was found that regular exercise may help fight the flu and cold infections by increasing the immune systems response to the virus.
If you are a couch potato who never exercises and does not eat healthy you are more susceptible to the flu virus than people who exercise moderately on a regular basis. Exercising long and hard to the point of exhaustion may make you more vulnerable as well. Exercise does have a lot of benefits, and helping to strengthen the immune system is just one of them.
Studies show that exercise helps boost activity in the immune system to limit viral attacks and eliminate harmful viruses from our bodies faster.
When experiments were executed with mice, it was found that mice that regularly ran on a treadmill over 3.5 months had less-severe symptoms when injected with the flu virus than mice who didn’t exercise at all.
Another interesting finding was that a mouse who exercises just before the flu injection but not regularly before hand, also showed protection against symptoms. For a mouse this means loss of weight and appetite.
The difference was these benefits lasted for a short time while long term exercise resulted in long term benefits.
These findings where reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and if these findings are the same for humans is not clear. Certainly they are possible and it is also clear that people who ear healthy and exercise regularly suffer less-severe respiratory infections.
Mice that exercised regularly had lower levels of inflammation in their lungs after being infected by the flu virus, compared with mice who did not exercise. Those levels stayed lower for the long term, compared to mice with only one workout whose levels were high after just a few days.
There was also a lower concentration of virus in the lungs of the healthy regular exercising mice in the early stages.
Based on these findings and experiments exercise boosts “early innate antiviral defenses” although how this actually happens still is a bit of a mystery.
Eating the right foods that will help to boost your immune system and give you more energy is just another ingredient to help fight and win the battle against the flu virus.