By Coach Shawn
It is that time of year – holidays, winter/cold weather, family/friend gatherings, eating more (unhealthy) things outside our normal scope and outside of the vast spread of joy the season can have
– the spread of germs can easily take us down.
Get us sick.
Take us out of work. Out of the gym. Have us feeling crappy.
There’s a common flu going around currently and it’s hitting people pretty hard and holding on and sticking around for a longer than desired.
Lets crack open helpful awareness of what things allow us to become more susceptible to getting sick.
WHAT PROMOTES US GETTING SICK, EASIER & FASTER?
- DRINKING ALCOHOL
Drinking alcohol can weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection. A weakened immune system can make your body more susceptible to getting sick and slow down recovery
- POOR FOOD CHOICES
Sugar. There’s no doubt that limiting how much added sugar you consume promotes your overall health and immune function. …
Fried foods. …
Processed foods. …
Highly refined carbs.
Foods high in omega-6 fats. …
Foods that contain certain additives. …
- POOR SLEEP QUALITY AND QUANTITY
Lack of sleep adversely affects your immune system.
Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.
Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.
- NOT MANAGING OUR STRESS (EMOTIONAL REGULATION)
Stress also suppresses the body’s immune system making it more difficult for the body to ward off biological intruders, such as flu bugs (viruses) and infection (bacteria).
As long as stress remains elevated, the body can struggle with health issues. These health issues can cause flu like symptoms.
- LACK OF CONSISTENT EXERCISE
Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease
Never giving the body chances to rest aka a full day off our two.
Overtraining syndrome occurs when an athlete doesn’t adequately recover after repetitive intense training, and can include fatigue, declining performance and potential injury. Not to mention weakening the immune system making you an easy target to get sick.
- BASIC HYGIENE
Wash your hands often. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
If using a tissue, wash your hands or use a sanitizer afterwards.
BUILD YOUR DEFENSE
Awareness alone that these 7, whether solo or worse, in combination, will significantly increase our risks and chances of getting sick is huge.
To avoid these elements all together can be unrealistic for many.
However we should actively work to INCREASE our defense by doing and focusing on the things that increase and improve our immune system to lower our risks.
- Eat high quality nutrient dense foods, daily, at every meal.
- Sleep, consistently 7-9+ hours a night.
- Develop practices to manage stress effectively.
- Exercise regularly and consistently.
- Decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption all together.
- Wash your hands, cover your mouth and disinfect when necessary.
- Take 1-3 complete days off throughout the week to rest, recover and rebuild.
And while getting sick might be unavoidable at times, we can certainly decrease our chances of getting sick by doing more of the RIGHT things consistently.
In the next blog we’ll talk about whether or not to work out while sick.
In love & service,