I know I am not the only one to experience this "I want to train but I'm sick" dilemna. In fact half of my office alone is sick right now as were two of my kids so I am fairly sure that there is a nasty cold going around right now. This post is dedicated to how to fight off a cold and get back to training quickly.
What do the Docs say?
A little Google search for common cold revealed a plethora of websites with information on how to treat the cold. Ready for the answer? Brace yourself my fellow athletes...the first item on the list is a nasty four letter word...REST!
- Rest - in other words take it easy and take a day or two off or otherwise significantly decrease the duration and intensity of your training.
- Drink - drink lots of water, juice, electrolyte-rich drinks and beer. Just kidding about the beer. I know it was a cruel joke.
- No alcohol - this is not the time to party. Give it up. A glass of red wine with dinner may be acceptable but shots of tequila are generally not advisable.
- Zinc - Many people feel taking zinc supplements can help shorten the lifespan of a cold.
- Vitamin C - Again it is thought that adding vitamin c can help your immune system fight off a cold faster. Vitamin E is also a good one to add.
- Treat pain/fever with ibuprofen - generally take this every 4-6 hours as needed. On the plus side the rest and ibuprofen should be good for nursing any aches or lingering injuries you may have from training.
- Herbal tea with honey - Tea when you're sick is a win/win. It helps you hydrate, soothes your senses and provides antioxidants that can help fight off a cold.
- Sore throat - gargle with warm salt water, use lozenges or ice chips for soothing.
- Runny or stuffy nose - use saline or allergy medicine or vick's inhaler to aid in nasal ailments.
- Coughing - use cough drops, drink tea, use cough medicine as needed.
- Ease back into activity - when returning to training from rest take it easy for a day or two, even a week until your body feels strong and recovered fully.
Hopefully you avoid the cold this season...unlike me. If not, relax and rest, allow your body to recover and you'll be back to training at your normal level soon.