Want to avoid the cold and flu this winter? Well, head to the gym.
A new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that the more physically fit you are, the lower the level of inflammatory activity in your body. The more fat you have, the higher your levels of inflammation.
Researchers examined hundreds of men who were generally healthy, and non smokers. They measured the men's white blood cell count, because the higher the count, the more inflammation. After taking age into account, they found that the most physically fit men had the least inflammation, or the lowest white cell count. White blood cells are integral to the body's response to infection.
Interestingly, lower body weight alone didn't seem to do the trick: men with lower weight AND lower levels of fitness still had more inflammation than men the same weight who had higher levels of fitness.
The study suggests that more physically fit you are, the more protection you have against infection. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the gym!