Our goal when we get sick is to feel better (often, as soon as possible). For this to happen, however, we need to play ball with our immune system. We need to give it the tools to perform.
What we should know first before we can do that is –
Our immune system is a bunch of bugs (good and bad) in our gut. When the bad guys are increased relative to the good guys, bad stuff happens (of course). Not only can it weaken us so much that we easily become sick, but it can make recovery long and slow once we do get sick as well.
Here is how we can help the good guys win to prevent that from happening:
- Tack on at least 3 more hours onto the amount you already should be getting (3 +8 = 11).
- Drink a lot of water while cutting back on coffee, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Eat probiotic containing foods (like yogurt) to feed our good bugs and anti-bacterial/ anti-viral foods such as coconut oil (my go-to) and garlic.
- Supplements: ZMA, probiotics, and vitamin C will help.
- Drugs: Do what you have to do (be critical).
- Limit or stay away from immune system depressing foods such as sugar-laden foods, diet sodas, things that you are allergic to, and pretty much all junk food. Also stay away from fiber-rich foods as well as our digestive system is not in a position to process these efficiently.
- Do what you can do. If the sickness is below the neck or you have a fever, sideline yourself. If you have a cold or strep, however, you can probably get away with doing low to moderate intensity exercise such as walking, yoga, and mobility exercises.
- Will exercising extend the recovery? Maybe, maybe not. When in doubt, do easy things. Working out while sick is not about setting personal records, it’s about giving your mind it’s medicine.
- And please, exercise @ home.
How close you follow this outline depends on how sick you are. When I am really sick (fever or flu), all I do is sleep and eat yogurt. When I have a cold, however, I go for walks and pretty much eat normally (which means I drink coffee, but less of it).
The sicker you are, the more help your immune system will need.
Be prepared to give it.