Uggh - I'm Sick!

Okay, not me, but one of my coaching clients sent me that message. He had one of those heavy, achy, sore throat things happening. As hard-working athletes, we always have our immune systems running on red alert, simply because our training taxes our body systems so much.

And if you have young children, and they are experiencing their first year in daycare - BE PREPARED. The first year I had my daughter in daycare, I was sick so often, I couldn't even count!

Though viruses are not entirely avoidable in our lives, there are a few things we can do to protect ourselves, and maybe shorten the duration of our sniffles.

Wash Your Hands!

The strongest proactive step to take for your protection is: wash your hands - OFTEN. Especially before you eat anything, floss or brush your teeth, or otherwise put your hands anywhere near your mouth or nose. 15 seconds of soap and water goes an awfully long way to prevention of colds and flu. Can't count to 15? Then hum "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to yourself while you suds up those hands.

Take A Few Days Rest

If you still get a dreaded cold, certainly take a few days off to get better. Mid-winter you can afford a few days of missed training. Pushing too hard could set you back for a week or more of being ill. And that, I know from experience, can set you way back.

One season I was sick for a week - really sick, like an honest to goodness influenza, not just flu-like symptoms - and I lost a whole 2 months of performance gains. Seriously, my test numbers were right back to 2 months prior, and it wasn't simply temporary. I had to rebuild from there.

I usually stick to the standard: "If it's all in the throat and above, you can usually continue with some training. Below the throat, take it way-easy."

Try COLD-fx

And finally, COLD-fx works for me. This is a ginseng-based product available in every pharmacy in Canada - I'm not sure about the rest of the world yet. It does have Health Canada approved solid research backing up its effectiveness for at least reducing the length of colds, if not out-right prevention.

Colds typically last only 3 days when I take the stuff, and I can continue to train through those 3 days without too much additional suffering.

To any of my readers feeling a bit sick out there this winter, I hope you're feeling better soon!

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