Top 10 Tips to Avoid Sickness
It is that time of year ... flu season. As much as I'd like to think you can avoid it completely, sometimes you can't (especially when you're on a campus of 22,000 students). There are definitely things we can do to help minimize the severity of sickness and keep use healthy during the winter months, but just like anything, it's something we have to commit to. Self care is incredibly important as an athlete and cannot be neglected if we want to operate and perform at our very best day in and day out.
Here are some of my go-to tips to help decrease your chances of catching a bug and how to help minimize the damage ...
(1) SLEEP + REST
When you start to feel yourself getting sick, it's your body's way of showing you that you need to slow down. More is not always better, sometimes you need to take a step back in order to progress forward.
P.S. Who doesn't love having a legit excuse to nap anyways?!
(2) FLUIDS + HYDRATION
This is important day in and day out, but it's ESSENTIAL when you are feeling ill. Water always you to flush toxins out of your body and rid your system of infection.
Quick Tip: Women should be aiming for at least 4-5L, and men should be aiming for 6-7L
(3) OIL OF OREGANO
The second I feel a sore throat coming on, I take a couple drops of oil of oregano under my tongue and chase with water or juice. I legitimately SWEAR by this, it works wonders for eliminating infection.
(4) VITAMIN C
This is a classic when you're sick. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and also facilitates the absorption of other nutrients!
Quick Tip: An easy way to get an extra dose is taking EmergenC which is a powder supplement of vitamins and electrolytes when you can feel yourself getting worn down.
(5) PEPPERMINT/ VICK'S VAPOUR RUB
Both peppermint and the ingredients found in Vick's have powerful properties for reducing congestion. Rubbing peppermint oil on your temples helps alleviate headaches and has a calming and soothing feeling - peppermint tea is also great for upset stomaches!
Quick Tip: Spreading Vick's Vapour Rub on the bottoms of your feet then putting socks before bed is a great way to get the mixture to circulate and alleviate congestion.
Echinacea is a powerful ingredient found in a plant that helps boost immune system and reduces symptoms associated with sickness.
Quick Tip: You can get throat lozenges of Echinacea!
(7) SALT WATER
Sore throat and don't have oil of oregano? Mix sea salt and warm water and gargle for 15-30 seconds twice a day. The salt water helps breakdown bacteria in the throat.
(8) WARM WATER + LEMON + HONEY
This should be your go-to when your feeling under the weather. Honey is soothing for the throat and the lemon helps balance the pH levels in your stomach.
Not the kind you're thinking of ... Ginger and tumeric shots have POWERFUL anti-inflammatory properties which can help decrease the severity of symptoms.
Quick Tip: These are also great when you're in the recovery process with an injury!
(10) TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY YEAR ROUND
If you focus on good nutrition, adequate sleep, proper hydration and physical activity, your body finds ways to take care of itself. I'm not saying you'll develop superpowers (pretty close), but you strengthen your body to withstand sickness and injury much better than if you were sedentary and didn't fuel yourself properly.
Sometimes sh*t happens and you get sick. It's how you continually take care of your body that will allow you to bounce back quickly. Remember, your body is a well-oiled machine - in order for it to run smoothly, you gotta take care of it!