Though January has been exceptionally warm (after last year’s brutal winter this is a nice change of pace), I’ve always been one to try to keep my activity level as high as possible through the winter – though it must be stated that I typically have been able to find a reason to stay home on particularly cold Saturday mornings. This year has been different for several reasons other than the weather. The first difference is that I wear my cold weather cycling gear out running (I wrote about my new winter gear here). With addition of the jacket alone, winter running has been much more bearable. Second, once I started contemplating the Half IM, the urgency of hitting the spring season in stride became quite important. With that in mind, my kids being in grade school makes keeping my fitness level up all the more important because they tend to bring home every bug in the book. When the boys and I are out slogging through the snow on Saturday morning our conversations typically kick around the notion that we all tend to stay healthier the more fit we are. We never quoted any studies or even questioned our hypothesis, we just accepted it as truth – quite possibly because the notion made running in that crap a little more tolerable.
In any event, I subscribe to Peter’s Principles email newsletter. This week, lo and behold, he writes: “A healthy diet and exercise program can protect yourself from catching a cold and aid in your recovery”. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
The interesting thing here is that I’m twice as fit as I was this time last year – I’m not even in the same ball park or weight category for that matter – and I’ve only gotten one case of the sniffles that lasted for a couple of days but didn’t even slow me down (and believe you, me, I’m knocking on wood). The kids, on the other hand, have been sick a few times. Call it what you want – I’m sticking with the hypothesis.