I’ve been constantly researching how to improve one’s immune system during this coronavirus period. I don’t think improving it is any different than before honestly, but now I feel it is strongly recommended that you give it a try.
This was going to be a topic of discussion with my track team this spring, but with the cancellation of sports I never fully got into it.
That being said, there were a lot of athletes that I had running indoor who because of sickness missed time from practices and missed meets. I don’t think it matters what exactly they had, but they caught something.
Some were sicker than others, but all of them had a setback to their training because of the sickness. Not only did they miss time, but it took them awhile to get back to the level they were at and then start building appropriately.
Point being, at the end of the season they all finished at some level of athleticism. They could have finished at a BETTER level if they did not get sick during the season. I.E. if their PR in a 200M was 26.5, maybe it could have been 26 or 25.5 if they hadn’t missed the time being sick and recovering from the sickness.
To help your athlete do the best he/she can to not get sick this season, there are some things you must start doing beyond social distancing to prep your body accordingly. You want to put it in a position to have the strongest immune system possible where if you get something it hopefully won’t be as severe.
- I do believe washing your hands frequently is key. They touch everything and the better you can keep them clean, the better you will be not getting random cr@p you don’t want to have.
- I would avoid shaking hands and just do fist bumps. I was big on this before the pandemic. The amount of germs spread through shaking hands is unreal. If I extend my fist to bump to you, don’t take it personally. I still think you are AWESOME, I just don’t trust where you been putting that hand. J
- Figure out your diet. Get some fruits and veggies in to start getting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also make sure you are getting enough calories to keep your body moving efficiently. Not getting enough taxes your system and puts a strain on it that could weaken the immune system.
- Eat enough calories understanding it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should be getting more calories from good food than bad. If you can do that, then you should be able to fill your body with better nutrients that will do good things for your body as opposed to the chemicals that could be suppressing your immune system.
- To help with the vitamins and such, take a multi-vitamin. Zinc and Vitamin C are helpful with colds, but I’m reading more about Vitamin D and what it can do. One doctor I listened to has a hypothesis about Vitamin D. It was just a hypothesis and research has not been done on this, but they studied a number of bodies that passed away due to Covid-19. They found that 96% of these bodies were Vitamin D deficient. So being Vitamin D sufficient could be helpful. Also, read an article that it might correlate to optimal performance for athletes.
- I have talked so much about sleep. Just go through my previous blog posts to read my thoughts. Get sleep. Sleep over the course of two days. So don’t sleep at 12:30am every night. Pick 11:00pm for example. Sleep is when your body grows and repairs itself. Allow your body to get healthy and sleep.
- Exercise helps improve the immune system. The better, more efficient your body is the better it will be prepared against not just physical stress, but potential sicknesses.
- Just be smart. Avoid putting yourself in situations that could be detrimental to your immune system. How are you dressing when it gets cold for example?
The way I look at things, if you can eliminate reasons why something happens, then you can pinpoint truly how something happened. If you do everything you need to do to be the best athlete possible, then if you get beat by someone your only excuse left is “that person was the better athlete that day.”
Do what you can to put yourself in a position to say that phrase. You will will have a much better peace of mind saying that rather than saying, “If I had gotten more sleep, I could’ve done this.”