Given that the common cold is probably the most frequently occurring illness in humans worldwide, there has been surprisingly little research into its prevention. However, a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who exercise regularly are less likely to get colds during the autumn and winter months. The study, which included more than a thousand people, found that regular physical activity:

  • Reduces the risk of catching a cold by almost 50%
  • Reduces the severity of symptoms for those who catch a cold

The study found that those who exercise regularly for five or more days a week are unwell with a cold for five days, on average, compared with nine days for those who do little or no exercise. The severity of symptoms fell by 41% for those who felt fittest and by 31% for those who were the most active.

Why does exercise have such a big impact?

It is thought that exercise causes a rise in the level of immune system cells circulating in the body. The effect is only temporary, lasting for a few hours after the exercise session, but it is still thought to provide a boost to the immune system. Exercise should be taken regularly to have the greatest impact.

Top tips for winter health

The best ways to strengthen the immune system strong and keep sprits high are to: 

  • Eat well
  • Keep hydrated
  • Stay active
  • Get enough rest
  • Approach life more positively
  • Smile more
  • Avoid unrealistic expectations
  • Create more time for yourself

Get expert occupational health advice

If you find that your employees are struggling with colds and flu, it is worth getting in touch with Medigold Health. Our sickness absence management strategies will help you prevent illness from setting in, with plenty of healthy lifestyle advice and information about the flu jab provided. We will also help you to stop illness spreading if one employee falls ill, and to ensure that staff members who have to take time off return to work as swiftly as possible.

Occupational health advice specialist Medigold Health will help your employees make small changes that yield significant results. We will ensure that sickness absence management is handled professionally, giving your business the best chance of thriving during the winter months and beyond. Contact Medigold Health today for more expert occupational health advice.

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Author: Medigold Health