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EXERCISE & IMMUNITY

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Boost T Cells 67% with Regular Activity

Upper respiratory infections are the most common illnesses in the world. The average person gets 2 to 3 such bouts a year. Dipping temperatures challenge immune function — but what about reduced activity levels brought on by colder weather? Could be, according to Professor David Nieman of Appalachian State University, whose preliminary research shows regular moderate exercise may boost immunity.
Dr. Nieman studied a group of elderly women comparing immune response with activity levels. What he found: “The thin, active older women had T cells that functioned 67% higher than other women, at a rate that was equal to women 40 years of age.” Another study found a triple incidence of colds among inactive post-menopausal women, compared with those who walked for 45 minutes, 5 days a week.

In addition to exercise, fortify your immune defenses by choosing broccoli, spinach, cashews, guava, plums and mango. Other ways to optimize your immunity include vaccination, hand washing, adequate sleep and meditation.

Published February 1, 2009

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