"Health is not valued until sickness comes."
Life is just too short. I knew this day would come. It's been a good run so far, but my health isn't what it used to be.
And as I sit here, struggling to keep my eyes from watering as I view my computer screen, I've finally come to accept the truth...
I have a cold.
...what, were you expecting something else?
Honestly though, being sick sucks. You don't want to go to your job, talk to anyone, or work out.
Here are 5 tips for keeping your immune system primed to prevent or get over sickness:
1) Drink Like a Fish
Not alcohol, Jordan Belfort. I'm talking about water. Good old, natural as you can get, water. Taking sips of it throughout the day will cleanse your body of any illnesses threatening to purge it. Try to drink filtered water though; tap water, besides tasting bad, has dirt and microorganisms that could impair your health.
2) Eliminate Stress
Stress can screw up everything in your life, especially your health. Methods to reduce it include prayer, yoga, relaxation music, or just social interactions with friends. If something traumatic (a death, a divorce) has induced stress in your life, don't hesitate to go to therapy. Professional help is necessary sometimes.
3) Sleep Well
You should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep. This can be tough to do, especially if you're working a job with long hours, but it is still essential. An occasional bad night of sleep can leave you with sniffles and feeling groggy in the morning; imagine what chronic sleep deprivation does to your immune system. Lie down at a reasonable time and catch your Zs.
4) Meet Your Vitamin D Levels
Possibly people's most deficient vitamin today, Vitamin D is key in supporting your immune system. Ideally, you want to be out in the sun each day to naturally boost it. Most people's schedules can make that difficult, however; just grab a capsule from your supermarket and take the pills to get around this.
5) Catch Up on Vitamin C
Right next to Vitamin D in terms of importance, Vitamin C is crucial for keeping your body free of disease. Fruits, veggies, multivitamins… even juices have this awesome vitamin.
6) Avoid Intense Exercise
Honestly, when you do get sick, please avoid any intense exercise.
I love lifting much as the next guy, but I don't even touch the weights when I'm feeling sick. You won't perform at your best and you'll be breaking your body down even further, prolonging your recovery.
Some people respond well to light cardio (15 minutes of jogging, for example) just to get fresh air, but I personally avoid exercise altogether.
7) Take Your Medicine
Regardless if you need a spoonful of sugar to get it down, take some medicine.
It may sound obvious, but I know some people who get so caught up in natural remedies that they try to cure illnesses with only herbs and foods.
I'm a big fan of eating as many natural foods as possible, but if you're sick, you're sick; you need real pills to get healthy.
There you have it, everyone; 7 ways to prevent and recover from immune issues.
Ultimately, kick the cold out of your system so you can get back to kicking ass at the gym.