In addition to washing your hands, avoiding people who are sick and eating a diet rich in antioxidants, you may want to add a new strategy your preventing-a-winter-cold list: getting exercise five days per week. Researchers found that individuals who reported performing regular physical activity at least five days a week spent 43 percent fewer days suffering with a cold than those who exercised no more than once a week. An added benefit, when they did catch a cold, was reduced severity and symptoms among those who exercised most. Most likely these reductions in colds and symptoms are linked to the increased immune system activity that occurs during aerobic exercise.
Make it a point to walk (indoors, if necessary) for 30-45 minutes per day, or if you don’t already have a gym membership, buy one and use the aerobic equipment such as stationary bicycles, treadmills or elliptical trainers.