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Oct. 23, 2007
If it’s yellow
Jessica, our nutrition intern, felt inspired by all of her sniffling and coughing gym-going office mates, to give a go at whipping them (er, us) into shape and give a little reminder of all that does a body best when the seasons change and those pesky, and annoying, colds take over. I could learn a few things from her... 

Is it just me, or is every other person sick? Sniffling co-workers frequently ask me, "I'm sick, should I exercise?" Most of us feel under the weather at some point and we all should exercise, so I thought the answer would be of interest to many of you.

From personal experience and scientific research, if you're sick I would suggest using your workout time to take a nap!

After you exercise, your immune system is naturally suppressed for up to 4 hours. This is referred to as an "open window" for infection. So..., if you're sick and you exercise, when you finish, your immune system is even weaker than when you started. Bummer.

Your body needs time and energy to fight whatever's ailing it. Sleep's the best medicine. By taking a nap you're helping yourself fight off the illness; by exercising you could be getting sicker.

It's not fun to be sick and miss workouts so below are some tips to help strengthen your immune system so you don't get sick as often:

  • Wash up! Clean hands = happy winter.
  • Sleep (in)! Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night (preferably 8).
  • Include recovery, light and/or off days into your training.
  • Eat well! 60-70% carbs, 15% protein and the rest from fat is the equation for boosted immunity. Reduce your intake of any one of these and you'e short-changing your immune system of what it needs.
  • Eat your fruits and veggies. Antioxidants from these powerhouse foods can counteract the free radicals created during exercise.
  • Supplementation of Vitamin A, C, E and Zinc the minute you feel something coming on is a good idea. Don't overdue it however. Going above and beyond the daily recommended levels for vitamins and minerals can be more harmful than helpful which is why we don't fortify our products above recommended levels.
I hope these tips keep you healthy, training, and free of the sniffles.

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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