Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Regular exercise tested as preventing colds!....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 11-2-2010

(And important update on Weds, 11-3, at the end of this post now.) <<<<<

Most of the online health outfits had this story today.

During the 3 core winter months of 2008, a study was done on people of all ages in Wisconsin.

The results were dramatic.

People who exercised 5 or more days a week or considered themselves fit averaged about 4 & a half colds during that time.

People who basically didn’t exercise, doing none at all or once a week sometimes, got 8 & a half colds during that time.

And, the people who exercised some, doing two to four days a week but not enough to feel fit, averaged about 5 and a half colds.

Even better, the people in the most fit group had 41% less severe colds than the sedentary group.

The summary is that doing even as little as 15 minutes or even 10 some days of strength training or interval cardio 5 to 7 days a week after you build up to it gradually has all the other health benefits from protecting your heart to helping prevent mental decline AND if you were sedentary you’ll have about HALF the colds you would have had AND they will tend to be colds that rank as 6 out 10 or less—mostly moderate or mild. So, colds will do less to harm to your quality of life and likely will cause no or fewer lost days from work.

One researcher thought that the way exercise prevented these colds and reduced the severity of the rest was by helping your body get the cells of your immune system circulating better so they got to cold viruses sooner and more often.

He’s likely correct I think.

But there are two other ways that likely work.

Exercise done longer than 8 minutes or done vigorously as little as 30 to 60 seconds, causes your body temperature to go up a bit. And, just like in a fever, your immune system is triggered to send out the troops by increases in your body’s temperature.

Exercise also causes your body to release growth hormones to rebuild the muscles you use when you exercise, particularly if you do strength training or interval cardio where sections of it are done briskly or fast. One of the ways that this protects your brain is that one of these growth hormones builds new nerves or brain cells which has been shown to keep your brain full sized instead of having it shrink over time. In the same way, I suspect that these growth hormones also help keep your immune system at full strength.

Here are several other ways to prevent colds or make them milder.

1. Taking a single probiotic capsule daily has been shown to be almost as effective in preventing colds or make them milder. Either the daily bacteria from outside keep your immune system in shape and looking for what is coming in or the bacteria themselves, since they are the kinds beneficial to your health, may attack the viruses directly. This is inexpensive to do and only takes seconds a day. (I’ve heard that keeping your probiotic supplement in your refrigerator keeps it at full strength so that this will work better for you.)

2. People who run in competition or who work out at that hard can sometimes have this trigger a cold. But, research has found that people who take a multivitamin plus another 2,000 mg of vitamin C, and 200 iu of natural vitamin E and other antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid usually can avoid this effect.

That much vitamin C has been shown to make colds milder in some studies also.

3. Taking an extra 15 mg to 30 mg a day of zinc also has helped make colds milder and shorter in some studies. However, taking more than a total of 60 mg a day of zinc will actually make things worse. Taking an extra 30 to 60 mg of zinc the first two days of a cold may help. But taking that much extra for longer is NOT a good idea! (Note: Unless you are one of the very rare people who cannot take ANY copper, taking extra zinc makes it desirable to take an extra 2 or 3 mg a day of copper a day since your copper and zinc work best for you health when they are balanced instead of having a lot of one and little of the other.)

4. Breathing steam through each nostril of your nose (but carefully and in small amounts) for a minute or two daily can actually kill viruses in your nose – both before you catch a cold which prevents it sometimes or help you get rid of one after you get it.

Since I drink green tea at home the first thing every morning. I just put some extra water in the pot and do this every day!

5. Wash your hands before eating or when you first get home. And, when you touch the corners of your eyes or the inside of your nose, have a clean tissue between your eye corner or nose surface and your finger. It’s pretty simple. If the virus can’t get inside you, it can’t give you a cold.

6. Always get your flu shot early each fall.

Some things people think of as colds are actually mild cases of the flu. And, flu shots prevent 60 % or more of the cases of the flu you would otherwise get.

Even better, getting the shot also boosts your immune system so it may prevent colds better too.

7. The fruit and the supplement elderberry have anti viral effects on flu viruses. They may also help fight cold viruses. Nature’s Way Bilberry supplements also have a bit more elderberry in them. I’ve noticed having fewer colds since I began taking those.

8. ( Weds, 11-3-2010: The update I nearly forgot and DID forget last time.)

Take at least 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. Recently it was discovered that your immune system’s killer cells need an adequate supply of vitamin D3 to be anywhere near full strength. And, very few people come at all close to getting enough from sunlight during the winter months when colds and flu show up most often.

(Recent studies are showing the real minimum daily requirement for D3 is actually 1700 to 2,000 iu; and the optimum is between 3,000 and 10,000 iu. Your body will readily use at least 3,000 iu a day if it’s readily available; and it’s easy to get 10,000 to 20,000 iu a day from taking walks in sunny summer weather. Further, blood tests show that more than half of all Americans are deficient in vitamin D.)

Taking 2,000 to 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 has dozens of health benefits including helping you avoid seasonal depression and this strengthening of your immune system which both helps prevent colds and flu AND many cancers.

Even better, your immune system becomes less likely to attack parts of you and enough D3 also helps prevent autoimmune diseases.

So taking enough D3 improves your quality of life three ways. You get sick less often and have more mild and shorter colds and flu if you do get them and you’re less likely to get or stay depressed.

I do all of the above and hardly ever get ANY colds at all. So, this set of things does seem to work!

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home