As the weather turns colder, the U.S. launches itself full-force into cold and flu season. While recent research has correctly reported that exercise can help prevent the common cold, experts with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend caution for people who are considering an intense workout while they're sick. In fact, there are some cases in which exercise could do more harm than good.

ACSM Fellow David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H., says that moderate exercise (30 minutes a day, on most, if not all, days of the week) actually lowers the risk for respiratory infections. Prolonged, intense exercise, on the other hand, can weaken the immune system and allow viruses to gain a foothold and spread.

"The good news, for the majority of fitness enthusiasts who put in 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week, is that the number of sick days they'll take during the common cold season is reduced by at least 40 percent," said Dr. Nieman.

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