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Exercises Prevents Colds By 41%, Study Finds

Exercises Prevents Colds By 41%, Study Finds

A study involving a thousand people discovered that staying active almost halved the odds [1] of catching a cold and even if they did, the infection was less severe. Researchers explained that this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs.

How exercise helps boost immunity

Volunteers involved in this study were asked to maintain a record of the coughs and sniffles they had during a three-month period during the autumn and winter. They also had to journal how frequently they did exercises that lasted at least 20 minutes and were intensive enough to make them sweat. They answered questions related to their diet, lifestyle, and recent stressful events, as these are factors that can impact the immune system.

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Study results

Those who were active for a minimum of five days a week were found to be suffering from a cold for barely five days during the three-month test period, while the ones who did little or no exercise were unwell for an average of nine days. The severity of symptoms was 41% less among those who “felt” the fittest. For those who were the most active, it was down by 31%.

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“The bouts of exercise spark a temporary rise in immune system cells circulating around the body that can attack foreign invaders,” said Dr. David Nieman, lead researcher from Appalachian State University. “Although these levels fall back within a few hours, each session is likely to provide an immune boost to fight off infections like the common cold.”

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The best exercises for immunity boost

Though walking is a great exercise that can make a significant difference in your health, it is insufficient for most people to achieve the benefits we are discussing here. The study made it clear that the beneficial exercises lasted at least 20 minutes and were intensive enough to make the volunteers sweat. For getting the maximum benefits from an exercise, you need to challenge your body and allow it the adequate time for recovery and repair.

HIIT workouts to optimize your metabolism

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to accomplish this. It optimises your metabolism and help regulate your blood sugar levels. You can choose cardio activities like cycling, swimming or running, but you have to workout in intervals of high intensity spaced with low-intensity recovery periods. Beginners can try jogging if they can’t sprint and alternate with walking for the recovery period. Try not to be too slow, though. Your body must be prevented from recovering completely and your heart rate should be kept high during the entire workout session, thus maximizing the benefits.

How to get started

Get up and do light exercises every 15 minutes if possible. Core exercises that involve the muscles of your back, abdomen and pelvis help to strengthen and stabilize your body, while stretching exercises improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. You can add a couple of days of strength training to your routine to build up muscle strength and endurance. Remember, the study found that “feeling fit” was as important as being active.

Recommended exercise

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Reference

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Anju Mobin

Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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Published on May 15, 2020

12 Best At Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

12 Best At Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

Coronavirus has ruined gym plans.

With most training facilities looking like they’re going to be closed until potentially the end of the year, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on home workouts.

The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine.

The bad news? You probably don’t know where to start.

There are a plethora of different training regiments out there and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you.

Don’t worry.

This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility.

There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts so they can accommodate any experience level.

A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility whilst training at home.

Warm-Up

Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each workout.

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Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace.

Repeat for 3-4 rounds

These will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate and get your body ready for exercise.

  • Exercise 1: Squats
  • Exercise 2: Lunge & Knee
  • Exercise 3: Leg Swings
  • Exercise 4: Star Jumps
  • Exercise 5: Press Ups
  • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts

Dynamic Stretches

Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up.

For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches.

For the mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

  • Exercise 1: Arm Swings
  • Exercise 2: Arm Circles
  • Exercise 3: Shoulder External Rotations
  • Exercise 4: Torso Twists

Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

  • Exercise 1: Step Throughs
  • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings
  • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles
  • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

Strength Workouts

    1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

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    • Exercise 1: Push-Ups – 2 sets, 5-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 12-15 reps
    • Exercise 7: Tricep Dips (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 12-15 reps

    2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets.

    Use a yoga mat if you have one.

    • Exercise 1: Air Bike – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Crunches – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Russian Twists – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Butt Ups – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks – 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)

    3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises – 2 sets, 12-15 reps

    4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

    • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Towel Row – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Tricep Extensions (From plank position) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls (Use two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure
    • Exercise 7: Tricep Kickbacks (Use two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure

    5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

    • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-To-Toe Touches – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Plank Elbow-To-Knee- 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through – 3-4 sets, until failure

    6. Legs Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

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    • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (Hold two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thursts (Hold one heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises (Hold two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure

    High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workouts

      7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

      Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest.

      4 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Squat
      • Exercise 2: Toe Touches
      • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs
      • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks
      • Exercise 5: Plank
      • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks
      • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers

      8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

      Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest.

      5-6 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks
      • Exercise 2: Burpees
      • Exercise 3: Push-Ups
      • Exercise 4: High Knees
      • Exercise 5: Plank Ups
      • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps
      • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

      9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

      Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest.

      7-8 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Jump Squats
      • Exercise 2: Burpee Hand-Offs
      • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs
      • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps
      • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches
      • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups
      • Exercise 7: Sprawls

      Mobility Workouts

        10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

        Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total.

        2-3 sets total

        Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

        This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

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        • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow
        • Exercise 2: Upward Dog
        • Exercise 3: Chest Release
        • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose
        • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 6: Table Twists

        11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

        Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total.

        2-3 sets total

        Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

        This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper lower body.

        • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 4: Lumbar Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch
        • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

        12. Spinal Mobility Workout

        Complete each exercise for 10 reps total.

        2-3 rounds

        This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

        It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

        • Exercise 1: Prone Extension
        • Exercise 2: Wag Tail
        • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend
        • Exercise 4: Half Pancake
        • Exercise 5: A-frame To Squat
        • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations

        Final Thoughts

        These are the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home.

        Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

        More Workouts You Can Do at Home

        Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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