The Burning Question – Will Working out Keep Me from Getting Sick?

Working out is considered a habit that can significantly improve your health. But you might still wonder will working out keep me from getting sick? The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems.

More than a few factors are at play when it comes to exercising and preventing illness. You should think about the type of exercise, your dietary habits, and the general state of your health.

On the bright side, studies have linked working out to sickness prevention. What’s more, regular exercise can be beneficial to a range of conditions – from the common cold to heart disease.

Working Out and Common Cold

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that you should be able to cut in half the chances of getting a cold if you exercise. And with that, the odds of developing a secondary infection.

On average, most adults catch a cold anywhere between two and five times a year. But taking up exercise and adopting other lifestyle changes like better dietary habits can markedly improve your resistance to the seasonal viruses. The reason for this might lie in the fact that working out improves your immune system and makes it more resilient to infections.

However, it would be wrong to assume that you need to commit yourself to a rigorous gym routine. The above mentioned study asked 1000 volunteers of different genders and ages about how often they were able to take at least a 20-minute intensive exercise that made them sweat.

It revealed some interesting findings after three months of research during the peak of cold season (autumn-winter). Those who exercised at least five times a week were sick for five days over the three-month period. But those who didn’t exercise regularly were down with a cold for about nine days.

The study also took a close look at the dietary habits, lifestyle, and stress levels of the participants. Of course, the participants who ate a lot of fruits were less susceptible to the cold. But it’s interesting that being a married older male also seemed to reduce the risks of catching a cold.

Working Out and Other Diseases

Besides the common cold, regular workouts can help to keep a few serious chronic conditions at bay. Sadly, some analyses indicate that the percentage of people who don’t work out is alarmingly high.

According to a 2002 study, 12.6 million Americans suffered from coronary diseases, 17 million from diabetes, and 50 million from hypertension. Luckily, people now seem to be more aware that regular exercise is paramount to preventing or controlling said conditions. This is why it’s important to take a closer look at the conditions that can be prevented by exercising.

  • Heart Conditions

Taking regular aerobic exercise can markedly improve your vascular health. Even the people who have a heart condition can alleviate the symptoms by exercising. The intensity and workout intervals may vary from one person to another. Nevertheless, there is no need to push yourself hard to get the benefits.

  • Back Pain

Moderate exercise helps improve your back muscles. There are special workouts that strengthen the spinal muscles which can make back pain symptoms less severe. The exact exercise type and frequency usually depend on the origin and intensity of the back pain. Thus, it is advisable to consult a physician to get the figure out the most optimal workout routine.

  • Arthritis

You might not be aware of the fact that exercising can also prevent or at least help with arthritis. Those who suffer from arthritis can improve muscle tone and make their joints nimbler with exercise.

  • Diabetes

Unfortunately, diabetes is one of the chronic conditions plaguing contemporary societies. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Insulin is more effective at maintaining optimal blood sugar levels when you exercise regularly. In addition, most workouts are also designed to reduce weight – the excess of which is a primary cause of diabetes.

  • Asthma

Regular workouts can help with asthma attacks. However, you should be aware that exercise may also trigger asthma in some sufferers. In general, you can’t go wrong with moderate exercises that fit your fitness and health level.

  • Breast and Colon Cancer

A study shows that working out reduces the risk of breast cancer by 75%. Colon cancer risk, on the other hand, is reduced by 22%. There is also evidence that guided exercise may help those rehabilitating from these debilitating conditions.

How Much and How Hard Should You Exercise?

By now, it is obvious that regular workouts can have a lot of benefits for your health and keep you from getting sick. At this point, you are probably wondering about the exercise intensity and frequency that can deliver the best results. Usually, a customized routine that fits your age, strength, and overall health condition would yield the best results.

A general recommendation is to engage in half-hour exercises for five or more times a week. This doesn’t mean that you need to pump iron for 30 minutes every day. Easy cardio exercises like long brisk walks are enough. If half an hour is too much for you in one go, you can also divide the time into a few intervals and spread them out through the day.

Are There Any Risks?

If you go for long brisk walks, there is basically no risk involved. But other intensive exercises might come with a certain amount of risk. It is best to take things slowly, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time.

You should carefully choose the type of exercise to avoid severe muscle soreness and injury. Once you are comfortable with your stamina and strength, feel free to increase the workout intensity and duration. And if you are not sure how to do it, consult your physician for some extra help.

Wrapping Up

Will working out keep me from getting sick? Yes, it will. But the answer to this question is deeper than that.

According to studies mentioned in this write-up and more, exercising regularly doesn’t only keep you from getting sick. It also has numerous benefits to your overall health. But exercising is only one part of the story.

Lifestyle changes and improved dietary habits are crucial for staying healthy. And if you combine them with an efficient gym routine, you’ll have a lot less to worry about your health.

References:

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/12/987?sid=e6594508-3aaa-4c61-99ba-4ea138580947
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18159963
https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/physical-activity-fundamental-preventing-disease
https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/whats-your-healthy-weight
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-and-chronic-disease/art-20046049

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