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Pumping iron vs popping pills

Weight-lifting helps fights infection

Pumping iron vs popping pills

Doctors could soon be handing out prescriptions for a dose of bench presses.

Researchers from Griffith University on the Gold Coast have found resistance exercise, at different doses, increases the body's ability to fight off infection and heal injuries.

A new study, which looked at the results of 16 previous studies from the past 25 years, revealed lifting weights increases the number of white blood cells in circulation around your body.

Dr Adam Szlezak from Griffith's Menzies Health Institute Queensland said they already knew aerobic exercise like going for a quick walk stimulates the immune system.

"But not a great deal was known about resistance exercise," he said.

"From analysing all 16 studies, we found that both high and low dosages of resistance exercise increased the immune system's surveillance potential in the participants, in a similar way to that of aerobic exercise."

But before you ditch the antibiotics for the gym, Dr Szlezak said further research is still needed.