After Flu Exposure, Mild Exercise Protects Mature Mice From Dying, But Not From Developing Symptoms

Austin, Texas -- University of Illinois researchers report that four consecutive days of moderate exercise in mice after they were infected with influenza protects them from dying, compared with mice that didnt exercise. This protective effect was more evident in mice greater than 16 weeks of age, an age at which they are immunologically more mature. The takeaway message: exercise regularly because you never know when youll be exposed.


Jeffrey A. Woods, PhD, and graduate student Tom Lowder at the Physical Fitness Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, said their lab has a long-time interest in exercise and its influence on the immune system. (See Exercise delays allogeneic tumor growth and reduces intratumoral inflammation and vascularization, by Mark R. Zielinski et al., Journal of Applied Physiology, June 2004, published by the American Physiological Society.)