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J-Curve Model of Infection and Exercise

People who exercise regularly report fewer colds than their sedentary peers. Numerous surveys of fitness enthusiasts, runners, and masters athletes indicate that between 60% and 90% feel that they experience fewer colds than their sedentary peers. However, overtraining or heavy exertion can have the opposite effect, and risk of infection can be potentially high among elite athletes.

Results from Regular, Moderate Exercise

Data from several randomized studies support the view that near-daily physical activity reduces the number of days with sickness. In these studies, subjects in the exercise groups walked briskly for 35 to 45 minutes, 5 days a week, for 12 to 15 weeks during the fall or in winter/spring, while the control groups remained physically inactive. The results were in the same direction reported by ...

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