Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Training Through A Sickness

It seems that this time of year everyone gets sick and it can impact their training for one to two weeks sometimes longer! I have several clients that have recently had to take time off or call in sick to their training sessions. Working out is great for your health. It does however lower your immune system slightly. I see it time and again when people begin a training. It seems a few weeks into training they get sick. You need to make sure you are protecting your immune system to prevent this common problem.

Once clients get sick the are not sure if they should push through it and continue training or take time off. They also miss that critical time (the first symptoms) to take natural supplements to prevent or minimize the severity of the cold or flu. I am not a doctor or professional in the medical field but I have some advice and tips on what you should do and what has worked for me.



The first symptoms of a sickness like a cold or flu may not be what you would expect. Typically,the first sign is fatigue or a weak feeling. People usually don't think that they may be getting sick if they are just more tired than normal. Sometimes you might find that the amount of weight you normally lift in the gym seems extra heavy. These can be signs you are coming down with something. The other signs may be a scratchy throat (not a sore throat), something more like a minor annoyance. If you notice any of these things then that is when you should start taking some of the following natural supplements:


  1. Oil Of Oregano - this is the best supplement I have found to prevent or minimize a cold or flu. It needs to be taken at the first signs. You can take this in liquid or pill form. It can be bought at most health food stores. I like to go to the Vitamin Shoppe because they seem to have the best prices and biggest selection. Make sure when you take Oil of Oregano you also take Acidophiles. Acidophiles replaces good bacteria that Oil of Oregano may kill. Take Oil of Oregano with breakfast and lunch and Acidophiles with dinner.

  2. Emergen C - This is my favorite way to take Vitamin C. It also contains some electrolytes and you can mix it with your bottled water. By doing that you not only hydrate but you are getting extra Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for immune system. I will usually take 2-3 packets a day if I feel like I am coming down with something.

  3. Zinc Lozenges are another thing to take if you feel like your coming down with something. Try not to take more than 100mg a day. Zinc boosts immune system and may prevent you from getting more severe symptoms of cold and flu.

  4. If you always tend to get sick in the winter then take Source Naturals Wellness Formula. This is a great formula and you can take it for several months during the cold and flu season.

  5. To keep yourself healthy and keep immune system strong always eat lots of vegetables on a regular basis. Limit processed foods that can cause inflammation. Drink plenty of water everyday. Take a good multiple vitamin daily and COQ10. I talk about foundation supplements in one of my first blog posts.

If you do get sick then use the following guideline to decide if you should workout:



  1. If you have a fever don't workout. If you are throwing up don't workout. If you have a respiratory infection or bad cough then you probably should not workout.

  2. If you have a minor head cold then modify your workout to an easier workout. If you were going to take a spin class then rather than do that, ride the lifecycle at an easier intensity. If you were going to run then do a mix of walk/easy jog.

  3. You need to listen to your body. In most cases an easy workout is good. Getting out and moving is not a bad thing. If you try to push yourself really hard when your sick it could make you worse.

Most of the times I workout when I am not feeling 100%. If I have a minor cold I will do an easier workout. If I have a little bit of a headache then I will workout and at times it has helped and I was glad I did it.

The best advice I can give is to use preventative measures to NOT get sick. Take your vitamins regularly. Get enough sleep to recover and keep your immune system healthy. Eat a healthy diet. Wash your hands after you workout! The gym is full of germs!

The worst thing that can happen is to get sick when your training is going really good. It can set you back several weeks. Follow these easy tips and you will be able to stay strong and in the gym!

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