Want to cut your risk of catching the flu? Preliminary findings from the U.K. Flusurvey suggest that vigorous exercise can help.

The survey, an online study run by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has gathered data from more than 4,800 participants. The organization found that individuals who exercised vigorously for at least 2.5 hours per week reduced their risk of developing flu-like illness by 10%. There was no association between moderate exercise and diminished risk.

“We’re really interested in the preliminary findings around fitness activity and flu-like illness, as exercise is something that everyone can do to reduce your chance of having flu,” says Alma Adler, PhD, research fellow at the school, in a press release. “We need to treat this result cautiously, as these are preliminary findings; however, they are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise. Although many people have dodged the flu bullet this winter, flu can occur at any time, so taking advantage of the better weather is a great opportunity to get out and get fit to ward off flu this spring.”

Learn more about the U.K. Flusurvey at www.flusurvey.org.uk.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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