With the change in weather a lot of us, me included, are getting run down and this is a short article that will arm you with the tools and knowhow to get through this issue.
First of all, if you’re really ill you need listen to your body and it’s probably not the best idea to train.
Even if you do have a cold there are a few simple yet effective things you can do to reduce the time you are ill and actually fight off the infection as opposed to just masking symptoms ensuring your hard work at the gym isn’t in vain.
Increased Zinc consumption within 24 hours of symptoms has been shown to significantly reduce the time of your cold – foods such as eggs, spinach, beef, kidney beans and garlic are all good sources.
Snack on Yoghurt – rich in Probiotics, Yoghurt helps reduce the body’s inflammatory response which reduces duration and symptoms alike, recommendations are whole natural yoghurt with less than 15g of sugar per 100g i.e. Greek yoghurt or Skyr (Icelandic yoghurt)
Other foods high in Probiotics (good gut bacteria) include fermented foods, which might sound horrible but our ancestors have been doing this for thousands of years. Fermented foods such as Kefir, Kim Chi, Sauerkraut, Miso soup etc all contain live cultures that help promote a high diversity and density of good gut bacteria which helps your immune system function and chronically can lead to reduced risk and development of Chronic issue
Eat Chicken soup – Your Mum is right, Chicken soup calms congestion and thins the mucus on your lungs Bonus: supermarket brands as well as homemade soup to the trick
Increase your Vitamin C consumption – Vitamin C aids in immune system function to help get rid of your rotten cold, foods such as Strawberries, Broccoli and citrus fruits are the best sources. Added bonus is that fruit has a high water content to keep you hydrated which promotes sufficient cell function. The fibre content of fruit and vegetables acts as Prebiotics that fuel and feed your gut bacteria.
Ensure your sleep quality is in tip top condition. What I mean by that is ensure that you prioritise sleep during your recovery
Top 5 sleep tips being:
- Avoid screens 1 hour prior to bed as the blue light emitted by screens tricks your brains circadian rhythm and promoted wakefulness which is not conducive to sleep
- Eat your evening meal at least 2 hours prior to sleeping to avoid disturbing your natural cycle
- Write things down that are causing you worry and stress on a white board or piece of paper so it is out of your mind (simple but powerful, particularly if you’re susceptible to anxiety)
- Ensure your room is pitch back and at the correct temperature which is 15oC
- Ensure you have enough space to sleep (a super king is minimum for 2 adults)
And lastly, my magic formula that silences your cough and acts as a significant symptom release!
Hot water, teaspoon of natural honey, large lemon slice and finely chopped chunk of Ginger does the trick, drink every few hours and you’ll feel better in no time
James Allen (Mentor and BSc Senior Exercise Specialist)