Meditation or exercise may lower the rate, length and severity of the flu or common cold, according to preliminary findings of a study conducted in Wisconsin.
The randomized controlled trial suggests preventing the common cold may not just be limited to practices such as frequent hand washing or covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing.
"The bottom line is both the mental health and physical health matter in helping improve (the) flu and cold," said physician Bruce Barrett, author of the study and associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school's department of family medicine.
In addition to taking precautions to prevent colds, he said, regular exercise and meditation may help.
"If it turns out to be true, it's a bigger deal than flu shots," Barrett said.
The study was published this month in the Annals of Family Medicine.