There is no cure for the common cold, but moderate exercise can help prevent it.

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle compared two groups of sedentary overweight post-menopausal women. Half of them did moderate exercise five times a week, and the other women attended one weekly 45-minute stretching session.

Moderate exercise made a difference in the number of colds they got. The women in the stretching class had twice as many colds as did the women in the moderate exercise group.

CBS-TV medical expert Emily Senay says the study indicates that an exercise program doesn't have to be intense to be effective. "These women were not running marathons. They were not lifting 100 pound [45 kilo] weights. These women were walking briskly about 30 minutes each day."

Senay says the longer the women stuck with the exercise, the better the outcome. By the end of the study, the women who were just in the stretching group had three times more colds than the women who were in the moderate exercise group.

Senay says the findings underscore the importance of regular exercise for better health. The study was published in the November issue of the American Journal of Medicine.