Thanks for your post. I’m a Physiologist at the University of Colorado (Disclaimer: PhD, not MD so this is not “official” medical advice). I too have struggled with staying healthy as I seem to have a minor auto-immune deficiency that predisposes me to recurrent mononucleosis (mono) infection. I got really sick with mono when I was 17 (ended up in the hospital for a few days) and have experienced significant illness in (seemingly) random bouts over the past decade. I’m now nearly 30 and this last year has been a very healthy and productive training year, however I was sick through most of my mid-twenties (through graduate school).
This won’t be a surprise to you, but the biggest change I’ve made to my lifestyle is maintaining an adequate sleep cycle. I shoot for at least eight hours/night and notice that I get sick after consecutive nights of <7 hours. I don’t have kids and I live across the street from the laboratory where I work so I certainly have little excuse for not getting my z’s in.
Aside from sleep quantity, quality is also equally important. There is some scientific literature to suggest that exposure to back-lit screens (i.e. cell phones) within 2 hours of bed-time can attenuate melatonin production by as much as 80%. So, “sleep hygiene” maybe something you can further dial in for more restorative sleep. Also, if you are feeling run down from a poor night of rest, alter the workout or bag it all together. Adding the additional stress of training will further impair your immune system.
Hopefully this helps?