It’s cold, dark and damp outside. You have managed to drag yourself out of the warm comfort of your bed to hit those fitness goals! If you need some assistance in that area checkout our quick energizing morning workout! This could have been easily motivated by the fact that a) you have been eating comfort food during this hibernation period or b) you live in Cape Town where there have been days(last week!) where it has been so warm that you have had to burst out of that warm cosy hoody and wear something that actually bared more skin, than you were ready for.
Yes, Summer bodies are made in Winter but come on! If you live in Cape Town with four seasons in one day you have to be prepared for anything rain, sun or the wind then sun again..!
That being said with so many different changes in the weather one’s immune system tends to kick our asses a lot harder during the winter season. Not to mention if you have started your Summer revenge body then you are very likely going full speed ahead to kick those fitness goals head on. Only to take on a hard knock after the first week causing a vicious cycle of jumping back into those baggy comfy clothes and snacking on comfort food, while diving back into a blissful hole of hibernation.
Winter Fitness has many benefits namely boosting your energy levels and those feel-good vibes that give you that extra kick to jump out of that bed and hit the gym. It also takes at least 12 weeks to start seeing significant changes in your body after following a healthy eating plan and exercising consistently, making Winter the best time to get all toned up for that cute shorts you bought but, still haven’t felt confident enough to wear.
I have enlisted some tips on how to stop colds and flu from busting your winter fitness goals and find out when NOT to exercise. Yes, you heard me right there are times when fitness should actually be avoided especially during illness.
You have started that HIIT workout or seriously kicking those goals this Winter and your immune system has taken one hard knock! Here’s what they didn’t tell you. High-intensity workouts are awesome to kiss that body fat goodbye with only three to five minutes a day but they could affect your immune system if you aren’t prepared. So to the start the war on body fat this Winter we going to need some form of defense.
- Start taking a good vitamin C supplement. I personally love the Good Health Opti C – 500 this advanced vitamin C stays in the body for 24 hours compared to others on the market lasting 4 hours. When my workouts are feeling intense or I’m kicking things up a notch or the sniffles hit me I know that I got my defense on! It also contains Echinacea and Acai for extra immune and Antioxidant support which is pretty awesome!
- Get the flu vaccine. I’m so glad I got this one ticked off my list as I got hit by the flu, however my symptoms were milder and I bounced right back rather quickly.
- Decrease your intensity during workouts when stressed, if you aren’t getting enough sleep or are feeling under the weather dive back under those covers and listen to your body’s response.
- Make sure that you are getting enough sleep (six to eight hours). A lack of sleep compromises your immune system.
- Eat healthy foods that will help your body fight off any infections. Stock up on Ginger, Garlic, cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, lettuce, and cabbages – there’s a reason why your mum always made you eat those green veggies! Try making a healthy stir-fry with lean meat and the above ingredients.
- In the gym, always use the sanitizing spray and wipes on equipment – you don’t know who sneezed or coughed on the exercise equipment before you. Try keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your gym towel pocket so you’re always prepared! I always carry my small Dettol Hand Sanitizer with me.
7. Everyone loves to look cute at the gym but make sure that, once you stop exercising, you have something warm and dry to keep your body temperature from dropping too low after workouts
8. Don’t wait for a case of the sniffles or a dry cough to progress – get advice from your doctor or local pharmacist as soon as possible.
If, despite all your best efforts, you are infected by a cold or the flu, don’t be afraid to take a sick day off work and your workout.
Pushing yourself when you’re ill will only set back your recovery and could even worsen your condition. Plus you won’t be a hero at work if you make your colleagues ill too.
When is it safe to exercise?
It’s safe to exercise when you have a head cold but it is recommended that you take a good vitamin C supplement and decrease the workout intensity. However, if the infection has spread to your chest or you are experiencing body aching symptoms of flu, it’s best to ditch the workout regime until you feel better. If in doubt, ask your doctor if and when it’s safe to exercise.
Exercising while you have the flu can affect your heart. Remember, your body is fighting extremely hard against the infection. During this time make sure that you follow a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids and rest.
**DISCLAIMER**Always consult a health care practitioner before starting an exercise/ eating plan or taking new health supplements.