Let’s face it. We all get colds at some point, and they’re not fun. They’re especially annoying when they interfere with your workouts. But do they have to? Not necessarily. In fact, exercise and diet choices through a cold can help strengthen your immune system and shorten your time coughing and sneezing. Just follow these six tips the next time you feel something coming on.
- Eat Foods High in Antioxidants. This means fruits and vegetables, particularly nutrient-dense foods, like dark leafy greens, berries, salmon, and sweet potatoes, which have anti-inflammatory properties. And good old chicken noodle soup is a super food when it comes to treating a cold. Your mom was right.
- Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. They decrease immune function. Enough said.
- Probiotics Can Help. Probiotics have bacteria that can reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Yogurt is a popular source of probiotics, or you might try a supplement. Talk to a Snap Fitness professional about our brand of Clean Vitamins.
- Keep Up with Your Exercise Routine. Prevention is the best defense. Exercise is an immune-booster and research shows that people who work out report fewer colds. But if you do get a cold, you can still exercise and it won’t make it worse. Not if the symptoms are from the neck up, such as a runny nose, congestion, or sore throat. Of course, if the cold is bad, use common sense and take your workout down a notch. Maybe walk instead of run. But it’s OK to get that heart rate up.
- Get Your Sleep. Getting enough rest is crucial. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep at night and a 20-minute power nap if you’re falling short.
- Drink Plenty of Liquids. It’s critical to stay hydrated to keep your throat and airways clear. Avoid sweetened beverages as too much sugar can cause inflammation, which weakens your immune system.