Who knew meditation could be so handy during cold and flu season?
A small new study finds that mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise seem to have protective effects against cold and flu, with people who engage in the practices having less severe, shorter and fewer symptoms of acute respiratory infection — and fewer days missed from work due to the sickness — than people who don’t engage in either practice.
Specifically, undergoing mindfulness training was linked with a 40 to 50 percent decrease in symptoms, while exercise was linked with a 30 to 40 percent decrease in symptoms, researchers reported, compared with people who did neither activity.
“The apparent 40 to 50 percent benefit of mindfulness training is a very important finding, as is the apparent 30 to 40 percent benefit of exercise training,” study researcher Dr. Bruce Barrett, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said in a statement. “If this pans out in future research, the impact could be substantive indeed.”