When the winter weather gets cold and you tend to spend most of your time indoors, you’re also more likely to catch cold and flu viruses. The cold and flu season can begin as early as October and usually ends sometime in April, but succumbing to sickness isn’t necessarily inevitable… Here’s what you need to know about colds and the flu.
The common cold is most often transmitted by direct contact with germs from the nose, mouth, or cough and sneeze droplets from someone who is infected, usually by hand-to-hand contact. Virus particles are passed from one person’s hand to another person’s hand. The second person then touches his or her eyes or rubs his or her nose, spreading the virus there, where the virus can start a new infection. It is possible to become infected by touching a surface, such as a tabletop or doorknob that was recently touched by an infected person, and then touching your eyes or nose. These viruses also can be spread by inhaling particles from the air after an infected person has coughed or sneezed.
To avoid getting or spreading a cold, it helps to clean your hands often, carefully dispose of all used tissues, and avoid rubbing your eyes and nose. If possible, you should avoid close, prolonged exposure to people who have colds.
People who exercise regularly, especially those who exercise daily, have fewer colds per year than those who are less active. Good news for us CrossFitters!
Although medical therapies can improve the symptoms of the common cold, they do not prevent, cure or shorten the illness. Drink enough fluids, get plenty of rest and treat your symptoms to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Thanks to recent medical advances, your options for heading off an attack of influenza have increased in recent years.
Vaccines – Vaccination can reduce your chances of getting the flu and transmitting it to others. Vaccination each year is often recommended for all people by the medical community… although everyone has their own opinions on the efficacy and necessity of getting a vaccine. The standard flu vaccine can help healthy people to avoid the disease or lessen its severity. For maximum effectiveness, doctors advise getting vaccinated at the start of flu season. This generally means October or November.
FluMist – Healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 have an alternative to the flu shot. FluMist is an intranasal vaccine spray. It appears to offer similar protection to the flu shot. FluMist uses a deactivated live virus rather than the killed virus in the shot. FluMist is not any more effective than the standard flu shot. I can’t comment on this particular flu prevention therapy, as I’ve not heard much about it before, nor do I have any personal experience with it. So do your own research!
Simple Good hygiene – The flu virus is usually passed through the air, by coughing. It also is passed by direct contact, such as shaking hands or kissing. Practicing good hygiene can help you to avoid getting the flu or spreading it to others. Good hygiene includes covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands frequently.
Antiviral drugs – Antivirals are said to substantially reduce your chance of getting the flu if they are taken just before an expected outbreak. Talk to your Doctor to see if this route is right for you.
To ease symptoms of the flu, your doctor will recommend that you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Because flu is a viral infection, unfortunately antibiotics are not effective!
It seems as though sickness is something that we all have to fight hard to avoid, no matter the healthy degree of our lifestyles! So make sure that you’re doing your best to prevent contracting one of these pesky illnesses. And when you do succumb to one, give yourself a fighting chance to recover by resting up and treating yourself right.
Take care kids, it’s a germ infested jungle out there!
Buy-in: Split Jerk or Push Jerk practice – quick coach demo and tips then 5 x 3, working technique and speed under the bar
7 minute AMRAP of:
- 8 sumo deadlift high pulls (65/95)
- 8 barhop burpees
- 8 Knees to elbows
Zone 3: scale sdhp to 55/75
Zone 2: scale sdhp to 45/65, scale to double crunch
Zone 1: scale as needed
GAMES PREP: all SDHP and KTE unbroken – broken sets do not count – rest then re-do them.
Cash-out: Group stretch