You//Fitness and Health
by Marcus Leach
I don't know about you but ever since the clocks went back there seems to be a lot of flu and cold type symptoms floating around. I myself have been the victim of the 'man flu' over the last couple of weeks.
I know exactly when I am coming down with something as my throat gets soar and tickly, which eventually leaves me with a cold. My way of relieving symptoms is usually to spend a day in bed, purely sleeping. I try and stay away from the Lemsip (other cold and flu products are available) and go with natural products such as hot water, lemon and honey. I also drink much more water to keep my fluids up.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to catching a cold; the change in temperature, the shorter days or even a rise in stress levels, with plenty of studies focusing on exercise and colds. A study in 2002 showed that those who exercised are 20-30% less likely to get a cold.
Meanwhile, a study in 2006 took 115 menopausal women and showed that regular moderate exercise reduced the risks of colds. In fact, immunity was actually strongest in the final quarter of the year, showing how important it is to keep doing moderate exercise regularly rather than dipping in and out.
To keep these cold symptoms at bay, make sure you remember the following points:
1. Get plenty of rest: avoid TV or tablets/mobile devices an hour before sleeping
2. Exercise: keeping up a healthy exercise routine will help keep your immune system strong
3. Drink plenty of water to keep your digestion system clean
4. Avoid sugary products and don't eat too many grains
5. Reduce stress
So remember, don't feel like you have to surge your way into exercise. Make sure that it is moderate, consistent and when the body becomes stronger allowing you to gradually increase the intensity or volume accordingly. And finally, don't leave training for your event until last minute as it can actually be more detrimental to your health.
That's all for now,
The Secret Cyclist
The Secret Cyclist is a British Cycling Level 2 coach who specialises in road and time trial. Based on the south coast he has a facility that incorporates personal training, cycle coaching and bike fitting. His weaknesses are hills and a love of cake. When off the bike he has a love of food and can often be found eating his way around Manchester.