Flu season runs from October through April. Getting the annual flu vaccine when it is available (usually in late September) can offer protection. In addition, doing enough aerobic exercise may help reduce the risk of dying from flu or pneumonia, according to a study published online May 16, 2023, by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Guidelines advise people to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Researchers examined exercise data collected from 577,909 adults from 1998 to 2018 who were followed for an average of nine years. They found that people who met the recommendation were 36% less likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than those who did not exercise. For people who exercised 301 to 600 minutes per week, the risk was cut in half.
However, there was no extra protection from doing more than 600 minutes. The researchers speculated that the benefit came from aerobic exercise helping to strengthen the body's immune response.
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