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Here's one more reason to get active: Physically fit adults may have fewer and milder colds than their couch potato counterparts, according to research from Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, N.C.

Researchers on the study followed a group of adults for three months in the fall and winter, keeping track of their aerobic activity and physical fitness. They also tracked participants' cold symptoms.

On average, participants reported 13 days with cold symptoms in the winter and eight days in the autumn. Those who exercised five or more days of the week reported almost half as many days with cold symptoms as those with more sedentary lifestyles - the ones who only exercised once, if that, each week.

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Symptoms were also less intense for the fitter of the bunch: Severity fell by about 41 per cent for those who felt the fittest. Yes, that means 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer each day could reduce that grandpa sneeze down to a mere sniffle.

Call us conspiracy theorists, but maybe it's time to get suspicious about those noon-hour Pilates classes your office offers. Considering Canadians took an average of 7.8 days off work due to illness or disability last year, your boss might be promoting physical activity in the workplace to prevent lost productivity.

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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