Classic Hacks: Halve Your Chances Of Catching A Cold

Cold and flu season has arrived for the year, and it's time to go digging through the archives for our best tips on how to combat it. Research shows there's a way you can potentially halve your chances of catching a cold — though it's not as easy as it sounds.

Cold and flu image via Shutterstock

As with many things, getting regular exercise can actually halve your chances of catching a cold, according to a BBC report posted here in 2010. Not only this, but the fitter among us also experience a far less severe reaction than their sedentary friends. However these results may not be entirely to do with how much exercise you're actually getting:

For their study, US researchers asked the healthy volunteers to keep a record of any coughs and sniffles they experienced over a three-month period during the autumn and winter. The volunteers were also asked to say how frequently in any given week they would do exercise lasting at least 20 minutes and intensive enough to break a sweat. …the most significant factors that cut colds was how much exercise a person did and how fit they perceived themselves to be.

This means that you can also convince yourself that you are fit to achieve much the same effect — which really cuts out a lot of the hard work that exercise usually entails.

Of course, you could just go the sure route and exercise properly, even though it's tempting to give it up once the weather gets a little bit chilly. Exercise has many other benefits, aside from the obvious. Other stories we've published over the years have proved that exercise is also good to prevent yourself from getting run down after a break, and generally helping to ward off everything from heart attacks and cancer to depression and erectile dysfunction, even (and maybe especially) if your ailment can make exercise somewhat difficult.

Lifehacker's Classic Hacks is a regular segment where we dig up the most popular, useful and offbeat advice from our archives and update it for your modern lifestyle.


    Biggest thing for me is simply hand hygiene. The amount of times I see someone cough or sneeze then grab a hand rail or a door handle etc is frightening. I have a little hand sanitiser bottle with me all the time and I often get through the 'cold and flu' season relatively unscathed.

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