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How Exercise Boosts Your Immunity

Exercise can thwart illness—but not all sweat sessions are equally fierce. For your next workout, follow these bug-fighting strategies

Be the Ultimate Flu Fighter

1. Pop a Multivitamin

2. Catch Some Z's

3. Check Yourself

4. Carb Load

5. Watch Your Pace

6. Listen to Your Body

7. Fend Off Germs

8. Eat Your Greens

Be the Ultimate Flu Fighter

When you get into a workout groove, everything runs as it should, including your ability to fend off an invading cold or flu.

"Moderate exercise helps boost immunity by increasing the movement of immune cells, which seek and destroy viruses and bacteria," says David Nieman, D.P.H., a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University. (Search: How does the immune system fight disease?) But get this: If your sweat session is long or intense, your risk of catching something—for up to 72 hours afterward—is as much as six times greater. For your next workout, follow these bug-fighting strategies. (This advice is especially important now that flu season is here. You’ve been vaccinated, right?

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