'2.5 hours a week' of exercise reduces chance of the flu

Two-and-a-half hours of vigorous exercise every week cut the chance of catching the flu by approximately 10%, research suggests.

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The number of flu patients has dropped, largely thanks to a lack of illness among young people. Credit: PA

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Physical activity which leads to sweating or hard breathing reduces flu or flu-like illness, experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.

Walking, light jogging and other gentle sports which did not raise heart rate, were found to have little effect.

The Flusurvey also found overall flu levels across the UK appear to be down on last year, with the influenza season apparently curbed by a lack of illness among children and young people.

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Vigorous exercise 'cuts chance of flu' by around 10%

Running, fast cycling, rugby or other vigorous exercise cuts the chance of catching flu by around 10%, according to research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.