Not too long ago I wrote a piece on how not to catch cold where I mentioned that I had not had cold symptoms in many years. The reason why the number of colds I have plummeted is because, while not always successful, I do manage to eat, sleep, and exercise healthily most of the time.
I got the familiar feeling in the back of the throat on Saturday. By Monday I had the runny nose and sneezing and felt a little lethargic. I still managed to get in a training ride on my bike (mounted on my indoor trainer Kurt Kinetic trainer review), but I cut the ride at 90 minutes instead of the 2-2.5 hours I would normally had done.
Side note: exercising with a cold rule of thumb: symptoms above the neck (head cold), exercise is not a problem but you may have reduced exercise capacity. If you have a cough or really sore throat exercising intensely with heavy breathing may aggravate an already irritated respiratory tract, possibly inviting a bacterial infection, so don't exercise hard. Nausea or fever? Don't exercise. You need rest and a visit to the doc might be a good idea if symptoms persist.
Today I feel pretty good. Only had to blow my nose twice so far. I'd say the cold is pretty much over.
So that's Saturday to Wednesday, maybe a little into tomorrow - 5.5 days with three days of a fairly snotty nose.
That's not too bad, and thats what the research suggests you might feel if you live healthy, primarily exercising regularly and getting good sleep.
Healthy living can reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of cold symptoms by 40%.
I've been lucky and had good multi-year stint of no cold symptoms. I say no cold symptoms as I would have still had cold viruses enter my body, but my strengthened immune system would have defeated the cold virus before I became symptomatic.
I didn't take a pill that's promised to reduce colds. I didn't take an alternative medicine concoction that is the suposed secret cure for the common cold that apparently regular doctors don't want you to know about. I didn't take massive doses of vitamin C. I didn't whip up an antioxidant detox super juice every morning.
I ate healthy, exercised regularly, and most of the time got good sleep.
I recall a few times though where it felt like a cold might be coming on but then nothing further materialized. There were several times where I was in the company of people with colds and I thought for sure I would be sniffling a few days later.. nope.
Aside from maintaining if not gaining athletic performance as I approach age 50 I think not getting the two colds per year I used to get a pretty good dividend from healthy habits. I don't know anyone who likes the misery of a cold.
The benefits of exercise aren't limited to the most commonly referenced weight loss and muscular or lean look. The main benefits are feeling more energetic, preserving health, having the strength to easily do pretty much any normal task.. shovelling snow is no big deal, neither is lifting heavy things like furniture.
I see many of my mid-late 40's peers gaining weight and getting weaker. That could have been me and I'm glad it isn't, I'm also glad it doesn't have to be this way for anyone.
I didn't make the change overnight and pretty much everyone who tries to do it fast fails and returns to a state of being less fit and more overweight than when they started.
Ignore all the goofy claims to lose weight fast and get fit fast. That's for losers, or I guess gainers as the weight comes back later when a return to previous habits occurs.
Make some small changes like eating a little less and learning to feel good about it. Gradually add small amounts of exercise. Boot camps are very stupid. Yes, I said that and mean it. I'm not some shlep who fell off the bus yesterday, I've been studying this subject and coaching for two and half decades and I live it myself.. quick fix promises are meant to appeal to desperation and gullibility; they don't actually work.
How did I get to "boot camps are very stupid" from exercise prevents colds? It's not hard to get me going. I am passionate about the subject. And why not? Making these changes turned my life around and the lives of many others. I really, really want people to feel as good as I have after having made these changes.
Having fewer colds is better. Colds are miserable. Less misery from colds, from aches and pains, from lethargy, and from illness. It's all good. Best thing?
It's not a miracle product that costs $49.99 per month or more. It's not a pill. It's not a secret metabolism energizing exercise routine (those don't exist by the way so don't fall for the con).
There is one catch though. Your benefits will automatically renew without your consent if you keep living the healthy lifestyle. That's right, even if you find that you don't like not having colds, can't stand being strong, hate your doctor for telling you your cholesterol and blood pressure are normal, and don't want to deal with near boundless energy and clear cognition day after day, the contract can't be broken. So long as you live healthy you will reap the benefits.
Oh well. What can you do?