Health Notes: Exercise prevents colds; focus on health over beauty best

SNEWS brings you the results of two studies that might be pertinent to your business. The first of which concluded that exercise could help ward off colds; and another that concluded women who worked out for fitness, versus appearance, had better results.

You want the latest information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but perhaps you’d rather not wade through the techno-science garble that makes most reports hard to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing

>>Exercise, meditation help prevent colds

You probably have people coming through your doors who are prone to colds and flu, and who use up all their sick days before the end of the year even arrives. Well, tell those customers you’re here to help, and offer them a deal on a treadmill or some yoga accessories.

According to a recent article in July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, people who had a daily exercise routine had fewer instances of cold and flue and missed fewer days of work. Also, those who practiced 45 minutes of mindful meditation reported less illness than those who didn’t meditate.

The doctors who headed up the study said they saw a 40 to 55 percent reduction in cases of acute respiratory infections. Plus, those who exercised daily had colds that lasted a shorter period of time than those who didn’t exercise daily.

>>So what? Nobody, including your customers, likes to be sidelined with a cold. That’s why Emergen-C and Occillococinum are so popular these days. So tell your customers that exercising, and meditating regularly can help them ward off nasty colds.

>>For the scientifically minded: Find an article recapping the results here. Find the free abstract here. Find the full text, for a fee, here.

>>Exercise for health, not for vanity

This study, published a year ago in theInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, is an oldie, but goodie.

The reasons being that many women out there are still looking to get in shape to fit into her itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie bikini. Turns out, this isn’t the way to look at fitness.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University, found that among obese women who wanted to lose weight, looking at the weight loss journey from a perspective of better health, versus better looks, was more beneficial to them.

Those who looked at the process as a means to better looks often imposed strict eating rules and ended up doing some emotional binge eating, hindering their efforts. Those women who looked for better health had better body image, less instances of emotional bingeing and learned to relate to their body in positive ways.

>>So what? Women control a majority of the spending in this country, this we know to be true, so woo them with knowledge like this. Discuss with them how the products that they’ll buy from you will make them healthier, not skinnier.

>>For the scientifically minded: The free abstract and article can be found here.