Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sickness (Updated)

It seems like we have some low-level sickness running through the team right now. Things like coughs, sore throats, colds, etc. While I am not a doctor by any means, I have been training in the cold weather for over 20 years now. (Wow, I am old.) And I have picked up a few tips and tricks on how to not get sick, and how to keep the sickness short and mild if you do start to feel cruddy.

1) Fluids, fluids, fluids. Drink a ton of water, of gatorade, of hot tea. I am drinking some nice green tea as I type this. Keeping your cells nice and moist and squishy with water makes them more able to fight off germs. Hard crusty dried out cells cannot fight off germs as well. Staying super hydrated is the best way to stay healthy and the easiest.

2) Emergen-C, echinechea, Vitmin C, Orange Juice. All of these guys contain valuable cold fighting properties. I don't know the exacts of it all, but if you start to get sick, drink a gallon of cheap OJ. Slam those Emergen-C packets three times a day. Give your body the extra ammunition it needs to ward off the germs.
EDIT: And by "cheap OJ" I don't mean sugar filled Sunny-D! I'm talking the cheap stuff that is pure OJ at the 7-11. Avoid extra sugar! (Thanks Coach Maroney, for pointing this out.)

3) Wash your hands. Germs are everywhere, you touch everything with your hands. Wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap to get rid of those germy hitchhikers.

4) Excercise. Obviously, if you are super sick and cannot get out of bed, don't go for a 45 min run. But, if you are just starting to get sick, or have a minor sniffle, locking yourself up in your room under the covers is the worst thing you can do. Re-breathing all that germy sick air, yuk! Instead, go out for a 20 min easy run in the fresh air. Don't do intervals, intensity when you are sick is very bad, but light aerobic excercise is very good. At ski training camps in college, one kid always got a little sniffle, and he would immediately shut it down, locking himself in his room and refusing to see the light of day. And every year, he just got sicker. Meanwhile, if I felt a little sniffly, I would always get fresh air at least twice a day. Even if it was just a walk down the long drieway and back. Fresh air and excercise does wonders for illness, trust me!

5) Go to bed early. Don't go to bed at six-thirty, but go to bed at a reasonable hour, like 9:00. Staying up late stresses your body, taking away energy to stay healthy, even if you are just lying around watching TV. Get a good solid seven - eight hours in consitently, and you stand a much better chance of not getting run down and getting sick.

Like I said, these are not medical tips from a doctor, but they work, trust me. You certainly won't get sicker from doing any of this, that's for sure!


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