Regular Exercise Helps Your Immune System

By Dr. Robert Wallace

February 8, 2020 4 min read

DR. WALLACE: Our physical education teacher keeps telling us that if a person exercises properly, he or she will have fewer colds and also be much less likely to get the flu. My grandmother thinks that our teacher doesn't know what he is talking about. Granny says exercise will produce more colds and flu bugs because exercising produces sweat and cooling off after a good workout causes colds and the flu. What's the deal here? — Seeking Health, El Paso, Texas

SEEKING HEALTH: One does not catch a cold or the flu from being in cold weather or cooling off after exercising. If you exercise regularly, you're probably less likely to catch a cold or the flu than someone who doesn't.

The reason is that exercise stimulates the front-line immune cells and builds up your body's strength to fight back against viruses.

But several hours of intense exercise every day are not necessarily better than a more moderate exercise routine. In fact, very intense exercise is likely to be a bit harder on your immune system, especially if you are not used to these types of intense workouts. The key with any exercise is to build up your strength and intensity slowly and to participate in exercise on a regular basis several times per week.

The cold and flu viruses enter your body through your mouth or nose, but the Mayo Clinic Health Letter says that you have a "hand" in causing the cold or flu. More than 200 viruses are usually spread by hand-to-hand contact or by shared objects like towels, utensils and phones.

WHY DO BOYS KISS AND TELL?

DR. WALLACE: Why do boys always seem to want to "kiss and tell," while most of us girls prefer to "kiss and keep it a secret"? It seems that every time a girl goes out with a new boy at our school, the boy broadcasts it in our quad area at lunchtime, especially if it was a make-out session.

I can tell you that my girlfriends and I would much rather keep all kissing activity on the down-low, which means we would rather keep it quiet from the school and only discuss our romances with a small circle of girlfriends. Why do boys always tell everybody? — Romantic Recluse, via email

ROMANTIC RECLUSE: Boys who kiss and tell often reveal their lack of maturity by bragging about their romantic experiences. They feel it will gain them popularity with the other guys by telling everyone all about their conquests. Unfortunately, boys oftentimes have a tendency to exaggerate the facts, so their stories may be far from accurate.

In matters of the heart, discretion really is the better part of valor. For what it is worth, I agree with you. Based on the many letters I've read over the years, female teens demonstrate more maturity with interpersonal relationships than male teens do.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: StockSnap at Pixabay

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