You can make it even if I didn’t. I felt pretty good after racing a 25K in Holmenkollmarsjen yesterday, but here I am once again with a sore, thick throat and heavy head. Another winter cold? Let’s hope not! This mornings bad shape and feelings, had me once again look into the most common winter health risks and how I can avoid them.
We can’t completely protect ourselves from germs and we are not meant to, but as my good colleague Tomas Fjeldberg recently and I discussed: getting a sore throat and a cold has much bigger consequences for someone doing endurance sports (especially winter sports) than for someone in a strength- and power sport.
– I’d still be able to go in and to 5 heavy, good reps if I’m coughing and it would have very little or no negative impact on my health, Tomas said. – On the other side I would never go an equivalent endurance training, like 5 x 5 minutes hard intervals, for example, I countered. I’m paraphrasing our conversation here, but we both agreed that where an endurance athlete might damage his or her health more long-term if training when having an infection in their airways, a weightlifter can still do quality lifts with a light couch. I’m envious.
I have been the queen of Antibac, washing my hands, not touching doorhandles or anything else necessarily and I am not hysteric about germs because we do need them, but I try to take precautions and have good routines. I will keep trying to fight of the common health hazards of the winter, because I have had enough!
There is always room for improvement and here is my game plan to amp up my immune system. I already do all of this, but I can do it better!
- Keep eating a lot and a variation of of vegetables and fruits. Keywords: Fiber, happy gut, micro nutrients.
- Get daylight and, if possible sunlight, everyday: I’ll go out in all the breaks where I have the time, avoid training very late (which I never liked anyway) rather exercise in daylight to avoid symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Hydrate! To keep your airways moist chew gum, tic-tacs, drink tea and water.
- Serious sleep: Become even more serious about your sleep routines and getting enough sleep. I need at least 8 hrs!
- Be a loner: Avoid large crowds and if they can’t be avoided I’ll keep my distance. If I get sick I will not expose other people to my viruses, that’s just egotistical…
- Hand shakes for health: If shaking hands when greeting someone I will not touch my face until having washed my hands or Antibac’ed them.
- Clean Phone: Wipe of your phone daily. I touch all kinds of gym equipment and all of a sudden I’ll be on my phone…you do the math.
- Opt for indoor training: If you are a skier and it is extremely cold or cold in combination with high air humidity here in Oslo, do the hard intervals indoors instead.
- Protect your airways: Using a scarf to cover your nose and mouth can somewhat protect your airways from the cold air. Use a cold mask for long or hard trainings in the cold.
- Don’t drink from someone else’s drink: People still do this?! This has been a rule that I have stuck to 99 out of 100 times for many, many years for obvious reasons. There is nothing like a little drink sharing to exchange some water borne viruses!
Aren’t all of these points pretty common sense? I for one, will try my very best to make it to spring without having any more XC-ski races destroyed by viruses.
Wish you a heathy March!
Important: Health advice in media and social media, this page included, can never replace individualized medical advice from medical personnel. This is post is meant as a kind guideline.