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Here's my problem. I seem to get sick 3-4 times in the fall (usually 1-2 pretty bad colds and one flu). Maybe this is normal, maybe it is above average. I have 2 small kids so I'm guessing I get sick more than usual. The problem is, I just cant get it together to exercise when I'm sick, and I end up getting 2 weeks of training, 10 days of being sick as a dog, setting me back 3 weeks, then 2 more weeks of training, etc. I work hard but end up falling backwards. What do people on this board do to:

a) prevent getting sick?
b) not lose too much fitness when sick



I'm scratching my head as I read this. No question that young children will bring home viruses that mom and dad haven't been exposed to, at least in a while, but these are usually upper respiratory infections (which are maybe bad enough to prohibit running for a few days) and an occasional enterovirus, where 'running' will take on a different meaning. No doubt that a "flu" is a more serious illness, but true Influenza is generally a December through February problem (it's rare before or after that). So I'm not clear why you should be ill enough that you should be periodically off for 10 days and lose conditioning.

You don't say what your symptoms are, specifically - do you have colds that seem to last for an extended period, with a chronic cough afterward? If so, you may have latent asthma ("reactive airways"), which is activated after an upper respiratory tract illness. Runners who cough during runs, and particulary those that cough afterward, commonly have exercise-induced asthma, which is easily treated. Of course, you could have some sort of odd immune deficiency disorder, but if you've had this for some time that would be pretty unlikely (and it is unlikely even if you haven't had it for some time).

Regards,
Roc (Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine MD)

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