Beating winter bugs and staying healthy in the offseason
Our top 5 tips to staying healthy over winter
It’s the season to be jolly but also the season for coughs and colds. Getting ill can be a frustrating time when your training regularly so read on for my top 5 tips on preventing coughs and colds but also treating them if the dreaded bugs do take hold!
1. Avoid energy restriction
There may be a tendency to cut back on your energy intake during the winter months but while training load may be lighter if you do modify your intake do this sensibly – cutting back too much (particularly on carbohydrate) can increase your risk of getting ill so be sensible and ensure you are fuelling your training sessions appropriately and not neglecting your recovery nutrition.
2. Sleep quality
Lack of sleep is directly linked to a 4-x fold increase in the risk of becoming ill and can also decrease the nutritional quality of your diet so make sure you get some good quality sleep.
3. Eat a Rainbow
Make sure your meals contain lots of colour! Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins which protect us from becoming ill. Try including fruit /vegetables at each of your meals for a vitamin boost.
A food first approach is always the best way of protecting your health but there are some supplements that can be beneficial. In terms of preventing illness probiotics can be an useful addition to your diet and there is also evidence that Vitamin C and Zinc Acetate can reduce the duration of a cold.
5. Stay Hydrated
Our bodies are 70% water – staying hydrated is essential to maintaining our health, well-being and performance. Not drinking enough can increase your risk of illness and injuries so keep an eye on your fluid intake.
For further Information and practical tips refer to Victoria Prendiville's Article on Beating Winter Bugs and Staying Healthy