Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(As If You Needed) One More Reason To Be Active

Between 2004 and 2007, I was always sick--from frequent bouts with acid reflux to managing my high blood pressure to the dreaded PCOS.  (All of which I no longer have, by the way.)  Even the regular 'get-over-it'-type colds and flus often morphed into weeks of coughing, wheezing, sniffling and ultimately the need for antibiotics to cure it. When I got sick, I got it hard. 

Since 2007, however, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to the doctor.  The only reason I've been to any doctor is because I went through some issues with abnormal pap smears.  When I was going through all the colposcopies and LEEP procedures, I told my gynocologist that I was a little scared.  I knew there was a risk of my condition leading to cervical cancer.  But my doctor told me I shouldn't be worried, because being an active, healthy, non-smoking adult significantly decreased my chances for the virus to ever turn into cancer.  And, sure enough, I got over it and my last two paps have been clean.

We all know that your chances of getting the BIG, scary diseases are greatly decreased by your health choices, but since I've transitioned to a more active lifestyle, I've noticed that I don't even get little stuff like colds or flus much anymore.  And when I do, it seems like my symptoms don't last nearly as long as they used to.  I attribute it to the fact that I sweat every day, and along with drinking lots of water, I am flushing out any bacteria that might be trying to invade my body.  And now, come to find out, there's actually some science behind this!  A study that came out yesterday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that instances of and severity of upper respiratory infections were reduced in physically fit and active adults compared to more sedentary individuals.

As cold and flu season approaches, most people think about getting flu shots and using hand sanitizer as a means of fighting off infections. This year, you might just try sweating your way to better health!

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