If you have an important competition, or exam coming up the last thing you want is to become ill. Here are six tips to avoid catching viruses including covid.
How do I catch a virus?
Both the common cold and the flu transmit from person to person through particules in the air. It is not possible to guarantee that you will avoid illness, however, here are some top tips to try and keep viruses at bay:
1. Hand hygiene
Wash your hands regularly! Viruses transmit from person to person in the air and in mucus particles. Therefore it is vital to clean your hands using anti-bacterial soap to kill the viruses (or bacteria). It is recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to remove all bacteria and viruses from the hands.
Avoid touching your face, mouth or nose. If you touch a surface which is contaminated then stick your finger in your mouth or nose…. guess what happens. Use anti-bacterial gels and lotions regularly to be even more thorough.
2. Warm clothing
If you work or train in a cold climate then it is important to avoid fluctuations in body temperature. Wear warm clothing and plenty of thin layers. Remove remove wet clothing as soon as possible and change to dry clothes. Fluctuations in body temperature is not great for your immune system to work efficiently.
Your immune system is your natural defence mechanism and it is vital to keep it in tip-top condition. Not eating certain vitamins, such as C and D or too much refined sugar intake all interfere with your immune system. Garlic improves immunity.
Ensure you are well hydrated is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and is also effective for supporting the immune system. Zinc lozenges are a popular supplement to help avoid and treat colds.
4. Don’t get coughed on
Stay away from people who are suffering with a cold or coughing. Make sure they cover their mouths when sneezing and/or coughing. Remember, the common cold and flu are transferred from person to person in the air particles.
5. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol also has a direct detrimental effect on the immune cells themselves and therefore increases the vulnerability of the body to viruses.
As a hard training athlete you push your body as hard as you can. Adding to the workload through a heavy drinking session is likely to push your immune system a bit too far. As a result, illness and injury. Alcohol also inhibits sleep.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital to allow bodily functions and systems to recover and reset themselves for the next day. If you are not sleeping enough your body does not recover and is far more vulnerable to illness.
What if I have a virus?
Avoid hard exercise, let your body focus on recovering from illness, not training. This is especially true if you have flu-like symptoms rather than a head cold.
Fever affects the regulation of body temperature. Therefore, it could be dangerous to exercise in this state of health because it may cause the body to overheat. Serious complications, including acute heart conditions are possible if you train with a fever.