The Germ War
The Germ War by Coach Sal
It’s a common medical myth that being outside in the rain or cold makes you sick. So, give up your hopes of not having to run for the next few months!
Being in rainy or cold conditions during exercise is not a direct cause of viruses like cold or flu. You must come into contact with a virus to contract these illnesses. The common cold is most often transmitted by direct contact with germs from the nose, mouth, or cough and sneeze droplets from someone who is infected, usually by hand-to-hand contact.
Drying yourself up and wear warm clothes after an intense session is still really important for your muscles but it won’t keep the germs away so you will need additional precautions to keeping your immune system in top shape.
Keep your hands off
Avoid touching your nose and your eyes or mouth and wash your hands with soap and water or a hand-sanitizer often. Most viruses are spread from a surface to your hands to your face, not through the air.
Clean your equipment
Wipe down bar bells, pull-up bars, kettlebells, etc. before and after you use them to reduce the spread of germs.
Studies show that exercise may improve immune function and decrease the risk of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. Your body relies on movement to detoxify tissues, remove cellular waste, and even transport immune cells where they are needed. It also improves heart health and blood circulation to keep cells nourished, healthy, and resistant to infections.
Listen to your body and sleep
If you are sick, you will feel better and recover faster if you let yourself rest instead of doing a WOD. Sleep is when our bodies and our brains clean out the trash and make repairs; when you are tired your body is not able to fight viruses as hard. Try to get 8-10h of sleep when you feel under the weather.
Water keeps your system moving so that it can dispose of what it doesn’t need. Inadequate water intake has been linked to worsened symptoms for asthma, allergies, headaches, and much more. If you are sick, drink more than you usually would.
Build up with healthy food
Cook with Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial herbs and spices such as garlic and turmeric. Garlic has anti-microbial properties; Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory – it has a mild flavor so that you can add a small quantity to every dish.
Manuka Honey and Cinnamon have antibiotic and antiviral properties that make them a great addition to your defenses. Cinnamon tea is an excellent way to keep your immune system warmed up and ready each morning.
Cut Sugar and processed foods out of you diet
Refined carbohydrates increase inflammation, and sugar suppresses the immune system. This isn’t the case with fruits and vegetables, which balance sugar with fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals. Eat more of those and avoid the processed stuff.
Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol
Smoking increases the risk of infections by making structural changes in the respiratory tract and decreasing immune response; alcohol dulls the immune system in a similar way. You are more likely to get sick after some heavy drinking, so take it easy.
Stress and anxiety have a negative influence on your whole body, including your immune system. Smiles and laughter can actually bolster your immunity.