NEWS BRIEF: Is exercise the new flu jab?

As we head into fall, I can’t help but notice an uptick in the advertisements for free flu shots at every local five-and-dime store, pharmacy, and doctor’s office.

Of course, you know how I feel about the useless, annual song and dance to get the flu vaccine. Because, even in the best of years, it just doesn’t work as promised. Plus, new research shows there’s something far more effective in warding off the real dangers of the flu and pneumonia


In fact, in a huge, new study, people who got just 10 to 149 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week had a 21 percent lower risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia compared to those with no activity.

Plus, those who engaged in just two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities got an even bigger benefit… they lowered their risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia by a whopping 47 percent!

So, this year, how about we all aim to build our immunity through some exercise instead? As you can see, it doesn’t take much movement to ward off some of the season’s nastiest infections.

Moderate-to-vigorous exercise is considered anything that gets your heartbeat up and sweat rolling down, like my all-time favorite—cycling. As for muscle-strengthening activities? I love taking advantage of resistance bands or body-weight exercises. A quick search on the internet will provide plenty of simple options.


“Weekly Exercise May Help Reduce Flu, Pneumonia Deaths.” MedPage Today, 5/17/23. (