All of my life I suffered from frequent colds, especially in Winter. Any sudden drop in temperature (like right now) or any stress would be immediately followed by a heavy cold that would often drag on for weeks, sometimes months. These can ruin your training progress and indeed make your life very miserable.
If you are repeatedly going down with colds at the drop of a hat, I think it’s very likely that your immune system is compromised, rather than just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ‘picking up a bug’.
This may be tempting fate, but I can honestly say that I’ve not suffered from any of this over the past 2 years, despite being often surrounded by people with heavy colds and often sharing gym equipment with them.
With people already starting to drop like flies with colds, I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I have been doing over the past 2 years which I believe has most likely improved my immune system. I have not attempted to find research to back this up – it’s just what has worked for me.
This is what I believe has helped;
- Not overtraining by doing too much high intensity work.
- Following a 95% real food diet, eliminating most processed carbohydrates.
- Incorporating a 12-18 hour non-eating period in every 24 hours.
- Getting to bed and also rising early and prioritising sleep.
- Getting outside in the fresh air, whatever the weather, for an hour or two every day with plenty of walking.
- Minimising stress.
- Avoiding any kind of medication, including pain killers, in favour of natural methods.
This is what has worked for me. In the past I had in vain tried; washing my hands obsessively, megadoses of Vitamin C, Echinacea etc. These may be helpful to some, but I do believe that unless you get the previous 7 key steps in place first, these will be of little assistance to you.
Just a personal view, but I suspect that most of the medications being taken to relieve symptoms are probably making things worse in the long run, especially antibiotics.