Sunday, February 2, 2014

Avoiding The Winter Bugs

Recently so many people I know have been getting sick.  It is so frustrating when you are on a good roll with your diet and training and then wham you get a blow by some bug that is going around. In some cases it can have you down for weeks but if your smart you will shorten its duration and kick its butt in a few days.  I rarely get sick (knock on wood) but when I do it usually doesn't stick around for long.  When I have gotten sick it is, in most cases my own fault.  The past few times I got sick I was burning the candle at both ends and doing way too much.  So the first step to not getting sick when everyone else is would be to take care of yourself from the start.  Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, taking your vitamins regularly, not overtraining, not drinking alcohol, and staying hydrated.  

So what do you do if that bug does find you and starts hibernating  in your system?  The important thing is to realize you are getting sick and do something when the first symptoms hit you.  If you wait it is going to be harder to get rid of.  You really have to know your body to know what the first symptoms are and to be able to recognize them.  In some cases it may just be fatigue.  So if you know you are getting enough sleep and still tired this may be a sign you are getting sick.  A headache may be another sign that you are getting sick or swollen lymph glads (the ones easy to detect are under arms and neck). When I feel as if I am getting sick I do several things to nip it in the bud.

  • Start using Zicam spray several times a day
  • Take EmergenC packets several times a day
  • Depending on the severity of my symptoms I may also take something like Mucinex or Nyquil
  • Increase my fluid intake maybe add Airborne fizz to my water
  • Take a few tablespoons of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar each day (if my lymph glands are swollen)
  • Take L-Glutamine
  • Maybe take a few days off from training
  • Get to bed and rest as soon as possible
To keep your immune system strong and prevent sickness then you can do a number of things.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods especially foods high in antioxidants
  • Drink a minimum of one gallon of water each day
  • Take vitamins daily my foundational recommendations are
    • A good multiple vitamin such and Alive, GNC, or New Chapter
    • Vitamin C and E
    • Ubiquinol - 100-200mg a day
    • Vitamin D 2000-4000 IU 
    • Acidophilus 
    • Fish oil
    • Source Natural Wellness Formula (I take this primarily in the col/flu season)
    • L-Glutamine
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Avoid drinking because this will lower your immune system
  • Reduce sugar and processed foods
  • Don't overtrain because this will lower your immune system
  • Reduce stress
When I feel as if I am getting sick I prefer to try and get rid of it on my own rather than immediately going to the doctor unless I am preparing for an important event.  In this case I may not have the time to ride it out so I will take antibiotics to get rid of it fast if it is an infection. 

The last time I got sick I went home in the middle of the day and did all of the things I suggested above.  I was able to get into bed and sleep for about 16 hours straight.  I was well enough the next day to go to work and even complete an easy workout. I did modify my workouts for a few days but I was still able to workout and that was important to me.  Many people I have been around recently have been down for 1-2 weeks with no training at all.  As a rule of thumb I will not workout if I have the chills, a fever or vomiting.  Anything else and I can usually manage a light workout.  Its important to keep moving even if its a walk.  Stay well and don't let those bugs hibernate! 

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