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Mindfulness Meditation and Exercise May Prevent Colds and Flu

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Mindfulness Meditation and Exercise May Prevent Colds and Flu

A new study found that people who regularly engage in meditation or exercise are better equipped to fight off colds and flu.

With the last rays of summer sunshine fading, cold and flu season can’t be far away. If you want to fend off the bugs, though, you might want to take up meditation or engage in some regular exercise.

The study

According to a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school’s department of family medicine published in the Annals of Family Medicine, meditation and exercise may minimize the occurrence, length, and severity of the flu or common cold.

The participants

In their study researchers split 149 participants into three different groups. The first practiced mindfulness meditation for eight weeks, the second did moderate-intensity exercise for the same period, and the third group did neither.

The results …

Over an eight-month period, the following results were reported by the study participants:

  • Meditation group—257 days of cold or flu symptoms and 16 days of missed work
  • Exercise group—241 days of cold or flu symptoms and 32 days of missed work
  • Others—453 days of cold or flu symptoms and 67 days of missed work

… are remarkable

In news reports, physician Bruce Barrett, the lead author of the study said, “The results are remarkable; we saw a 40 to 50 percent reduction in respiratory infections. The bottom line is both the mental health and physical health matter in helping improve (the) flu and cold.”

Meditation’s other benefits

Though not a comprehensive list, here are some of the many things that may be positively affected through the practice of meditation:

Want some tips on how to meditate?

Start here: Keep meditation top of mind.

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