DOCTORS could soon be prescribing three sets of bench presses and some lunges for a chest infection.
A new study from Griffith University has found that resistance exercise can cause biological responses similar to that produced by drugs.
It creates an increase in key white blood cells in the circulation, all of which are either central to immune defence or aid in healing.
The research, published in Immunology Letters, may make Queenslanders rethink their reasons for going to the gym - the workout could be overhauling the whole immune system.
The study collated and analysed the results of 16 previous studies from 1989 to 2016, which monitored participants undertaking a single session of resistance exercises.
"We already knew that aerobic exercise, such as moderate intensity walking, could stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections but not a great deal was known about resistance exercise in particular, and specifically if the dose of resistance exercise would make a difference," said Dr Adam Szlezak, from Griffith's Menzies Health Institute Queensland.
"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.
"Further research is of course, needed, but we can see that exercise immunology has the ability to make people totally rethink their reasons for exercise.
"It may not just be for fitness and losing weight; it could also overhaul our whole approach to our health."
Vanessa McKinnon, from Teneriffe, says weight training has many benefits.
"It speeds up the metabolism and strengthens the bones and if it boosts immunity that is amazing," she said.
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