Training with the Flu

With the advent of snow on the mountain tops, frost on your car in the mornings and the furnaces being turned on, winter is fast approaching.  This  also means cold and flu season is upon us which will no doubt have an effect on your training sessions. 

The first defence against the flu is to wash your hands regularly.  One of the most common ways the flu is passed from one to another is from touching something and then rubbing your nose, mouth or even eating something and not washing your hands.

Another way to prevent the flu is to strengthen your immune system and proper nutrition is essential in doing this.  Avoid processed and refined foods, while eating foods that are high in vitamin A, C and zinc. 

Here are some great examples of  foods to help boost your immune system.

  • Vitamin C-Oranges, guava, red pepper, kiwi, green pepper, grapefruit, strawberry, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe.
  • Vitamin K-Kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens.
  • Zinc-Oysters, wheat germ, veal liver, sesame seeds, roast beef, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate, lamb, peanuts.

When you have the flu your body is under stress and it is rapidly trying to heal itself.  Add the stress of exercise to that and you are more likely to break yourself down further and feel worse.  How do you know if you should head to the gym for your training session or not? Here is a good rule of thumb for you to follow: If you have a runny nose, nasal congestion, or mild sore throat then exercise is fine but you will want to reduce the intensity.  If you have chest congestion, aches, fever, or chills, it is unwise for you to exercise. 

I know when I get sick the last thing I want is to miss my workout.  But what I have learned through the years is the best course of action for training with the flu is to take a few extra days to rest, so your body will benefit from your workout when you return to the gym.


About Lisa

Lisa is a Certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about fitness and living an active lifestyle. She has a strong background in nutrition, having been a Chef for almost 15 years and applies this knowledge to helping her clients achieve their goals.
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