The spread of H1N1 and seasonal flu this year has forced many of us to re-examine our daily routines. But you could be putting yourself at increased risk for the flu through your daily workouts. While staying in top physical condition is a great way to stay healthy, exercising in cold weather can open a window of vulnerability for an athlete’s immune system, especially the viral variety, such as influenza or “the flu”.
Inhaling cold dry air creates a dangerous situation that can lead pulmonary damage and illness. Human studies have found that athletes who perform strenuous exercise are predisposed to post-exercise viral infections, particularly of the respiratory tract. Another study showed that exercise in cold environments also causes disturbances in immunity in humans during recovery from exercise. According to this research, the immunological vulnerability can last for up to 48 hours after the workout ends. You can find more information and citations for those research studies on the ColdAvenger website. An excellent way to protect yourself from this cold-weather immunity gap is to use a ColdAvenger mask during outdoor exercise or any other strenuous outdoor activity (shoveling snow, raking leaves, etc).
The ColdAvenger raises the temperature of inhaled air by 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidifies dry cold air. This significantly reduces the effect of cold air on the lungs, and protects you from the respiratory vulnerability and damage that can come from cold air exposure. It also protects the delicate skin of your face and neck from exposure. Healthy skin is yet another barrier to infection and disease, so proper protection is key.
So don’t let cold weather or the threat of the flu stop you from the outdoor activities you love.
Stay out longer!