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People who are physically fit and active have fewer and milder colds, according to a study. The US researchers based their findings on 1,000 adults up to the age of 85 whose respiratory health was tracked for 12 weeks during autumn and winter. Six out of 10 participants were women, four out of 10 were aged between 18 and 39, 40% were middle aged and one in four were aged 60 and older.
All the participants reported back on how frequently they took aerobic exercise and rated their fitness levels using a validated 10-point scoring system. They were also asked about lifestyle, diet and recent stressful events, as these can affect immune system response.
The number of days with symptoms among those who said they were physicially active on 5 or more days a week and felt fit was almost half (43-46% less) that of those who exercised on only one or zero days of the week.