I wrote this blog post at a time when I was struck down with a cold and I don’t do sick overly well. It all seems a little bit too annoying to my routine for me to put up with it with anything resembling grace or patience.
But once I dosed up on vitamins (as a bit of a panic vitamin taker) I turned my attention to important things like, don’t you think runners just get more colds than other people? And you are right they do. And if we jump over how ridiculously unfair that is. There is a reason.
Intense endurance exercise or interval training can cause a (temporary) decrease in Immunoglobulin A which is often found in saliva and the mucous membrane covering the respiratory tract which can often successfully resist the growth of micro organisms that cause colds. And while the decrease doesn’t last that long, it can be just long enough to open the door to infection. Which is why people commonly get sick after a hard work out or a long run.
So what can you do about it?
Actually take vitamins that you know you need rather than only occasionally when you are already sick like a crazy person. Things that I (semi) regularly take which seem to help me are Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Fish Oil.
Wash your hands regularly. That’s a no brainer. But just be more pedantic than you think you need to be. And stop touching your face. Awkward if you have nervous habits that tend to make you touch your face all the time. Or you have kids that make you rub your head in frustration twenty times a day, but just do your best.
Work in immune boosting foods into your diet. Things like citrus, broccoli, capsicum, garlic, ginger, spinach, yoghurt, almonds and turmeric.
Go to sleep early. Sleep is one of your best immune system boosters and probably the thing that most of us will skip given half a chance. So just go to bed.