How to Fuel Your Training and Avoid Illness During Winter

During cold and flu season, it's especially important for endurance athletes in training to take extra care to avoid getting sick. Heavy exertion—think brick workouts and long runs and rides—can impair your immune system for up to 72 hours post-workout, according to a study published in the journal Immunology and Cell Biology. "Infection risk may be amplified when other factors related to immune function are present, including exposure to novel pathogens ... lack of sleep, severe mental stress, malnutrition or weight loss," study authors wrote.

The common-sense advice your mom dispensed applies here: Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, ears, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean, get as much rest as possible and eat well. Here are eight additional ideas to keep you healthy when you're pushing your body to the limit.

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