Hello and welcome to the ADAM COPLEY: PERSONAL TRAINING blog. Here you will find weekly updates designed to educate you on strength and conditioning for cycling. Over the coming weeks I will be covering all aspects of conditioning your body for cycling and how it can benefit you in terms of comfort, speed, and improving your riding. So, without further delay. Let’s get right into this week’s entry!
This week I want to give you all a few tips on how to keep your immune system healthy while still maintaining an active lifestyle.
I am sure that, like me, you are all very keen to stay active and healthy right now and there are ways we can do this and stay safe.
Due to this outbreak, threatening to put a halt on everything that we have trained for, I thought I would spread some positivity and give you some tips on how to stay healthy on the bike. This is great advice even when there is no “C” word hanging around and is something we should all do – just think of the amount of crap we pick up on the bike, on our water bottles, clothing and our hands when we eat.
This week I am going to keep it sweet and talk to you about three ways you can keep yourself free of germs, viruses and boost your immune system.
Tip 1: Lifestyle:
This first tip is all about your food and making sure that you are getting as much good, healthy produce into your body as possible. Load up and foods like broccoli, spinach, kale and asparagus as well as your regular veg. This is a great way to boost your immune system and goes a long way towards boosting your immunity to illness.
After you have done this have a look at the amount of sleep you get, this is where you recover not only from training, but from life as well. Look into your sleeping patterns and ask yourself:
- Do you have too much screen time before bed?
- Do you spend too much time procrastinating about going to bed instead of actually going to bed?
- Do you get stressed and rush to sort your things out for the next day?
- Do you have a regular sleep/wake up time?
All of these things will effect your bodies immune system and can have an impact on how you recover from illness, and the stresses of everyday life.
Alcohol is another thing. Feeling ill, or scared that there is something in the air you don’t want to catch? Don’t put your body in a weak state from drinking. Simple as that.
Make sure you have more greens in your diet, improve your quality of sleep and lessen your alcohol intake.
Tip 2: During exercise:
Okay so this one is easy, and just requires a little bit of common sense.
If you exercise outdoors a lot just look at your equipment and environment. If you ride bikes its very easy to get manure or dirt on your water bottle and ingest it. This is an easy way to get ill and, trust me, I have done this and it is horrible. Just use some common sense; get a water bottle with a cap or wipe it and squirt it into your mouth.
If you use a camel back, you can keep it hygienic with a couple of simple tips:
1: Freeze the camelback without the valve and mouthpiece on it, this will freeze any water that is left in it and kill all the bacteria that can grow.
2: Store the mouthpiece in the fridge after giving it a good spray and rise with anti-bacterial spray. This will prevent any build up of mould. Freezing it can damage the valve and mouthpiece.
Obviously after this it is just common sense. Wash your hands after handling a dirty bike or wearing sweaty, dirty gloves. Keep hygienic. Sorted.
If you exercise in the gym, just stay hygienic. Wipe things down with anti-bacterial spray and use hand sanitiser before and after exercise. Always wash your hands after you have used the gym and you will be fine.
Gym’s are a breeding ground for disease and this “C” word hasn’t just suddenly made gyms a dangerous place.
Look after your kit, look after your self and you will be fine.
Tip 3: Post exercise:
Post exercise is when you really need to look after your body more than ever, you will have weekend yourself and be in a state of mild/extreme shock based on what exercise you have done. How can we minimise the risk of getting ill, and boost our immune system after exercise?
While exercise itself will help us boost our immune system, having something high in vitamin C can also really help us with this. This can be either via fruit like oranges or via tablets. Simply throw one into your post ride drink and this will help your immune system to recover.
When it comes to being active, we are in a fantastic position to be able to naturally boost our immune system purely because of our love of health and fitness.
Whether that is indoors or outdoors. However, as this article demonstrates there are a number of ways you can help your body out with its recovery and ability to boost your immunity to illness.
You can’t stop yourself from getting ill, however, you can take steps to prevent it.
One serious note:
This virus outbreak has a lot of people worried. But it is nothing to go crazy about. I live with a nurse who works on the same ward and she is more concerned about the strain it will have on the NHS than the actual virus itself.
Please stay fit, stay active and get outdoors as much as you can. Be hygienic, be sensible and enjoy your life.
Have a great week.
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