Now that winter is upon us, there is always an increased risk of picking up a cold that can stop you in your tracks and set your training back.The winter months are often important to your training schedule as the season of fun runs, marathons, triathlons and endurance events often starts around August.So, here are three simple rules on how you can best maintain a strong immune system…
RULE 1 – EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS
It’s quite popular at the moment to completely cut out a certain nutrient called carbohydrates.
This could be putting your immune system under increased stress, especially if your training load hasn’t decreased or you have been slowly increasing it. The role of carbohydrates is to provide your working muscles and organs (in particular the brain) with the necessary energy to get through your activity. This is why having a good relationship with carbohydrates is important.
If you are not as active, then you can lower your carbohydrate intake. However, if you are active and wanting to get through quality training sessions in order to maximise the benefits, then you are going to want carbohydrates as part of your eating plan.
By incorporating a variety of good quality foods that contains lots of colourful vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and lean meats this ensure that your immune system is given every opportunity to remain strong.
RULE 2 – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is one thing that we don’t do very well. It’s crucial to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you are feeling fatigued or as though a cold is coming on, then back off the training.
Having 2-3 days off is better than being out for 2 weeks and risk further deconditioning, which can be a significant setback.
RULE 3 – MAINTAIN YOUR HYDRATION
During the colder months, we can feel that we don’t need to have as much fluid, and therefore cut back on the fluid intake. While our sweat rates maybe decreased if training outside, it’s still important to aim for 2L/day as a minimum. You can achieve part of your fluid intake with a nice bowl of homemade soup to help you warm up!
SUPPLEMENTS & IMMUNE FUNCTION
Ever wondered what supplements can help support your immune system?
CLICK HERE to read some further info from The Injury Clinic Dietitian, Tim on supplements & immune function.
For individual advice or further information, please contact The Injury Clinic’s Dietitian, Tim Stewart.
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