Well it’s that time of year. Everyone around you is getting sick and it may only be a matter of time before your next. Want to avoid taking a week off of training? Or if you feel something coming on, know how to kick it before it’s full blown.
Here are my best weapons to prevent/fight off a cold.
Before you feel sick:
Get extra rest! Sleep is huge for letting the body recover and getting those awesome immune boosting hormones working in over time. Human Growth Hormone is released as we sleep and it really boosts your immunity.
Dose up on D! This time of year we are big time vitamin D deficient. The sun is much further away from the earth and we just can’t get enough of those healthy charged rays. Vitamin D is one of the most inexpensive supplements to purchase and it works! Not a fan of taking supplements? Eat more of these foods to get your D in: Sardines, salmon, mushrooms, eggs, tuna, and cod liver oil.
Drink Extra water! Fluids help flush out the body. If there are any toxins that hinder immunity or any potential viruses floating around help the body stay hydrated to get your system moving out bad and bring in good. Tip: If you find it hard to increase your water intake try having an extra glass immediately after you wake up. Drink it down to flush out your system and then proceed to sip on room temperature – warm water throughout the day.
Eat well! Don’t eat junky convenience foods especially around this time of year. They don’t do anything beneficial. They just make the body work harder. Instead opt out for good quality proteins (meat and eggs) and lightly steamed veggies. Don’t over eat. However, not eating enough is often worse. Your hormones go out of whack with a lack of calories and it can mess up not only your metabolism but your immunity as well!
Neti Pot! If you have never heard of the neti pot, Hear me now! It is a small teapot looking thing that you mix warm water in with saline solution and pour it into one nostril with your head tilted to the side. The solution will move into your sinuses and drip out the other nostril. Doesn’t sound fun? It’s not! But it’s better than being sick for a week. Why does it work? No virus can live in this type of solution and if you use it every 48 hours during cold and flu season you may not get sick at all. It takes the cold virus about 48 hours to incubate and start to wreak havoc on the body. Stop it dead in it’s track with the neti pot.
Feeling a bit under the weather? At the very least these tips may help lessen the duration and/or severity of your symptoms.
All of the above tips apply. Here is what to do additionally and some small changes:
Eat Light! Eat well but eat simple foods that are not hard to digest and avoid large portions. Proteins and fats are denser so keep them to a minimum. As well complex carbs like past, rice, and bread are not so stellar options either. Some Fruits and homemade soups are best.
Drink plenty of warm fluids! Not coffee as it is acidic in the body. Opt out for herbal teas and warm water.
Extra Vitamin C! Many cold viruses are interrupted when Vitamin C is ample. The virus will try to bind to receptors on your cells to infiltrate but Vitamin C fills the space where the virus prefers to bind giving it less of a chance to infect. Not to mention Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It reverses and prevents damage in the body.
Decide what kind of cold you are getting! Before you pounce on over the counter drugs, herbs and cold remedies like cold Fx figure out what you are dealing with first. Not to say these won’t help but each is more suited to a certain type of cold. Chinese medicine theories may give you a better handle on this:
Wind cold: Back of the head headache, drippy clear nasal mucous, achy, chills. You want to warm up this kind of cold. Take a warm bath, keep the body warm, eat and drink warming things. Ie: ginger, cinnamon, ginseng (main ingredient in cold fx), and savoury chicken soups. And above all, Sleep a lot!
Wind Heat: frontal or temple headache, sore throat, yellow or green mucous in nose/throat chills and fever. If it is the initial stages of these symptoms you have a good chance at catching it. You will want to try to vent this one. Hot bath until you are sweating and for as long as you can stand it. Immediately get into blankets to keep hot and sweating. Try to sleep a lot. Then eat simple somewhat low calories. A good Chinese herbal formula that I always use is called yin qiao san Pronounced: (Yin Chee-owe San) You can find it in most Asian super markets Like TNT. This formula is said to clear heat. It works wonders for me.
Either way wind cold can turn to wind heat very quickly so catching these early can prove to either minimize just how sick you are, how long it lasts, and if you even get the full blown cold at all.
Hope this helps!
Good luck, and happy training 🙂