The Cold/Flu and You. . .the Athlete

It's that time of the year again and everyone who knows everyone is coughing, sniffling,  and sneezing! Whether it's the common cold, flu or something you never heard of...we've got it and it's time to fight it off!

In the past week, I have been around a lot of people.  Starting at the local schools, my church and of course, the gym.  But this time, for me,  (yes, I have a cold RIGHT NOW) it was the extra visits to the doctor for my girls and myself.  I am guessing that January is not the month to get your yearly check ups. Live and Learn! Everyone at the doctor's office had something GERM WORTHY!  

If you haven't picked up anything yet. . .that's a GREAT THING! Stay strong, my friend. If you are getting over the cold or flu. . .continue to take precautions and stay away from the GERMY PEOPLE, no matter how cute they are. Good luck, get your vitamin C and check out the following tips below to help prevent you from feeling "under the weather"!

Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs QUICK TIPS

1.  First, as an athlete, make sure that if you are going to the gym on a consist basis that you clean the equipment before using it.  Most gyms have anti-bacterial spray or wipes that are disposal and easy to use.  After your workout, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly and avoid contact to your face before, during and after your workout.

According to the Center of Disease Control. . .

2.  Avoid close contact.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  No problem, right? Well, there are those that still come to the gym, work and school who don't believe they are that sick, so watch out and STAY AWAY!

3. Stay home when you are sick.  If possible, stay home from work, school and the gym when you are sick.  Your body is trying to fight off whatever it is you caught.  Running or doing a high-impact workout will only make you weaker and lengthen your cold.  So, stay away  and remember everyone else will love you for it.

4.  Cover your mouth and nose when you are coughing and sneezing "PLEASE".  I know that many of us may  not know when we are going to sneeze or cough but just in case carry some tissue in your back pocket at all times.  A small pack of tissue from Target is about $1.20.

5.  Clean your hands.  Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand rub.  You can pick up a ton of those little "anti-bacterial" tubes from Target, Walmart or your local drug store for as little as $.99.  Put one in your kids lunch boxes as well!

6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touching his or her eyes, nose and mouth.

7.  Practice other good health habits.  Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.  Hmmm. . .really! Cool!

Please note: talk to your doctor about getting the flu shot.  Everyone is different when it comes to their health.  The flu shot can NOT prevent you from catching the common cold or a bronchial infection, so make sure you get the facts before getting the shot or letting your kids get the shot.  

According to USA Today, this month 18 children under the age of 18 have died because of the seasonal flu and over 2200 people have been hospitalized with flu symptoms.  Right now, it's time to listen to your doctor, let him/her take into consideration your health history and decide if the flu shot is for you.  

Stay Happy, Strong and Fit!