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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

Exercise, Nutrition and The Flu Bug

The flu bug is definitely going around. Lots of my clients, friends and family have come down with things ranging from a bit of a cough to full on sickness in the last month. It’s not good! It gets in the way of life, and more importantly it gets in the way of exercising! I’m only half kidding about that. I want to give you a few hints for things you can do to get over, or hopefully avoid, this mess that’s going around.

1. Relieve your stress. This time of year does us all in. The holidays, the cold weather, the finances. It doesn’t help that even though we get a few extra days off work, it’s not like the work itself ever really goes away. Stress compromises our immune system big time so we’ve got to do things to help relieve it.

Many studies have shown that exercise is a proven way to relieve stress. It releases all sorts of hormones in our body that fight stress and it gives us a mental break from whatever it is that’s getting us down. Even though you might not feel like it and even though you might not be able to give everything you usually give in the gym, go in and do something and you’ll feel much better in the long run.

2. Resistance train. Many studies have shown that resistance training actually helps our immune system. (If it seems like I think that resistance training in a kind of panacea, you’re right. I do. Because it is.)

3. Eat your vegetables. The best way to keep yourself from getting sick is to give your immune system the ammunition to fight off the molecules that want to attack it. Well, consider vegetables a Howitzer, a Stealth bomber and the EM50 Urban Assault Vehicle from “Stripes”, all rolled into one for your body. Remember: nutrition is more than just a way to lose or gain weight. It’s a huge factor in what makes you healthy or what makes you unhealthy. It’s not neutral and if it’s not with you, it‘s against you. Try to take in at least 5-6 servings a day.

4. Don’t give in. You know the people around your office that scream “DON’T GET ME SICK!!” whenever you cough for any reason at all. They’re the ones who take Airborne and Emergen-C like it’s going out of style. They’re also the ones who are constantly out sick. Meanwhile those of us who don’t lose their minds about every sneeze and cough seem to get by just fine. What’s the message here? I don’t know, but I think that people who may be a little more tough minded about getting sick seem to get sick less. What I do know, is that just moving around can make things feel a lot better pretty quickly, so don’t give in to a sniffle. Get moving!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach


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