Your best defence against office colds is to lace up and leave bugs eating your dust
Sometimes, even scientists get it wrong. For years, the consensus has been that a relentless winter training schedule can lead to a debilitating case of man flu: run or rep yourself into the ground and your defences will crumble. But myth-busting researchers at the University of Bath have an alternative theory: they believe that endurance exercise actually boosts your immunity. Warming news, indeed.
During exercise, the number of infection-fighting T-cells in the blood can increase to 10 times the normal amount. In earlier studies, scientists noted a steep decline of these lymphocytes in the hours following a workout and assumed they were being lost or destroyed – leaving the body open to illness. However, according to the new research, published in Frontiers in Immunology, the cells are simply being relocated to areas more susceptible to infection – your lungs, for example – ready to repel invading pathogens.
Working out for two hours was found to provide the optimal boost to your defences. That means getting ahead of the pack on your half-marathon plan could be the most effective way to outrun office bugs. The icy winter weather is no longer an excuse to put your training into hibernation. So, lace up, warm up and brace yourself.