Health and Wellness

01.17.13

Run for Your Lives

Want to fight the flu? Take a walk.

{R]esearchers at Iowa State University in Ames recently had young, healthy volunteers, most of them college students, head out for a moderately paced 90-minute jog or bike ride 15 minutes after receiving their flu shot. Other volunteers sat quietly for 90 minutes after their shot. Then the researchers checked for blood levels of influenza antibodies a month later.

Those volunteers who had exercised after being inoculated, it turned out, exhibited “nearly double the antibody response” of the sedentary group, said Marian Kohut, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State who oversaw the study, which is being prepared for publication. They also had higher blood levels of certain immune system cells that help the body fight off infection.