| Article Summary:
If you've been lucky enough to steer clear from the flu so far this year, chances are you still know someone that you are avoiding like the plague because they are always sniffling, sneezing or running to the restroom. Did you know that bodybuilding can help you avoid catching the flu? Yes, something you love doing can actually help prevent catching this nasty illness.
What Is The Flu?
As the CDC states, "the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses." Different strains of the flu exist and they can cause mild to severe illness and even death in some people. Some of the symptoms of the flu include:
- Extreme Tiredness
- Muscle Aches
- Dry Cough
- Sore Throat
- Runny Or Stuffy Nose
- Muscle Aches
- Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away so you get treated before you get worse.
How Bodybuilding Can Help Cut Your Risk For Catching The Flu?
Can bodybuilding really help you prevent your chances of catching the flu? Yes indeed, it can. Bodybuilders not only develop their muscles but they also develop many other aspects of their life that can help prevent the flu. These include:
A Sound Diet.
If you are a bodybuilder, you eat a better diet than most people. This means that you eat more produce (chock full of
minerals that can boost your energy and immune system), good quality
protein (protein is a component of every cell in your body including your immune cells), whole grains (nutrient packed) and you drink plenty of fluids to stay
Supplementing Your Diet.
If you are a bodybuilder, you take a
multivitamin mineral supplement. And, you consume whey protein.
Whey protein contains immuno-boosting like immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, that help support the
immune system. Build muscle and build your immunity at the same time!
Good Sleeping Habits.
If you are a bodybuilder, you always get the rest you need for your body to
recover. Doing so can help ward off sickness. When your body is sleep deprived, your immune system isn't functioning at it's best. And another interesting aspect of
sleep is that animals that sleep more have an increase in white blood cells (the cells that fight infections).
Additional Tips To Help You Decrease Your Chances Of Catching The Flu
Get The Flu Vaccine.
This vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that will cause the most illness during each flu season. The flu vaccine can help prevent you from catching the flu and it can also minimize the time it takes you to recover if you do catch the flu. The CDC recommends that young children, pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions and the elderly over 65 get the flu vaccine.
Consider Antiviral Drugs.
These drugs should be taken during the first 48 hours after getting sick.
Ensure That Your Personal Hygiene Is On Par.
This means washing your hands frequently with soap and water (always before you eat or touch your T zone - eyes, nose or mouth). And, wash your hands every time you leave the gym (just think of all the
equipment you just touched!).
Avoid Close Contact With Sick People.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze. Or, if you sneeze on the spur of the moment, sneeze into the inside of your elbow area, never on your hand.
If you want to steer clear of illness, stay in the gym. You'll be building not just your muscles but also your immune system in the process.
Dr. David Ryan & Dr. Brian Griffin
Bodybuilding doesn't only include the act of physically challenging your body. It's a lifestyle choice. A lifestyle that includes eating a healthy diet, supplementing your diet with the nutrients you need, getting adequate rest and building discipline and good habits. All of these things can help prevent you from running to the doctor with a case of the sniffles, sneezes or runs.
About The Author:
Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. She is a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com. For more information see: www.mariespano.com
- Seasonal Flu. CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
- Opp MR. Sleeping to fuel the immune system: mammalian sleep and resistance to parasites. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009; 9:8.
- Whey Protein Institute.