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Fu*K The Flu!

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough couple of weeks. But not for me, more like for my clients. Incase you haven’t noticed, here in Canada the Fall Season is officially amongst us. Which means here in Vancouver, British Columbia, the cold, wet, damp, rainy weather has officially arrived. I personally am not a fan of the fall season. But not because of the weather, but more because of how the weather effects many of the people of whom we work with.

Let me explain….

Fall Fever

I’ve been  working in the fitness industry for a LONG time. And during this time, I’ve noticed certain trends that tend to occur during specific times of the year. And one of the most common of these trends that I notice the most is that many people become sick, injured or rundown as soon as the weather begins to change. This trend is even more apparent when the weather changes quickly from warm to cold and from sun to rain. And as much as I love Vancouver, and as grateful as I am to live in one of the top 3 places in the world, even I have to admit, that when it comes to drastic climate change, our environment is not the most ideal for people who may have weaker immune systems or who suffer from some kind of chronic or acute muscular or joint injury. And because of this, every year, without a doubt, I know of at least a dozen people who either get sick and/or injured during the cold and rainy months. And do you know what the worst thing about being sick and/or injured is? Easy. YOU CAN’T WORKOUT!!!!!

Fighting the Flu Season

Now rather than bore you and try to explain the science as to why I believe so many people’s immune systems are weather dependent, I’m going to instead suggest a few remedies and defence tactics that you can apply to your own health defence, so that you give yourself the absolute best chance of not getting sick, injured or rundown this Fall/Winter Season.

A) Vitamin C That Bitch Up! – I don’t care what some Doctors may suggest. Vitamin C DOES WORK! I’m a firm believer in taking Vitamin C daily all year round. Vitamin C has been proven time and time again to help boost our immune systems. And because it’s so good for our bodies, it’s extremely hard to overdose on Vitamin C. And because of this, when the so-called Flu Season arrives, I simply double my daily intake so that my immune system remains strong and healthy when viruses and diseases are more prevalent than ever.

B) Functional Eating –  As anyone who has ever worked with me on their Nutritional Plan will tell you, I’m a firm believer in eating for function, health and overall enjoyment. When I help clients with their diets, I focus on designing a safe and effective plan that will allow them to achieve their goals in a reasonable time frame. But I also focus on making sure that they achieve these goals in the healthiest way possible. Regardless of the flu season or not, I only incorporate foods into my plans that are nutritious and offer benefits to both the body and the mind. Sure, I want to make sure my clients enjoy their foods, and thanks to some creative thinking in the kitchen, for the most part they do. But the saying “You are what you eat” could not be more true. Eat crap and you’ll feel like crap. And if you feel like crap, good luck fighting off any virus or disease that enters your pathway.

C) Warm-Up – This one should really go without saying however after all these years, I still cannot believe how many people I see walk into the gym and just start lifting heavy weights or running hard on the treadmill without at least spending 5-10 minutes warming up their joints, muscle and ligaments. I’ve always warmed up during each and every workout I’ve done and I expect my clients to do the same. Warming up can be as simple as performing a light 2-3 minute jog, or perhaps some dynamic stretching. One way I like to warm-up my clients before a resistance training workout is to have them perform multiply reps of 20-30 with extremely light weights and perfect form. I start with this type of warm-up not to challenge the muscles but more to give them time to become more loose and ready while at the same time allow my clients to prepare themselves mentally for the workout at hand. However you decide to warm-up just make sure you warm-up efficiently and effectively.

D) Vitamin D – I’m not a doctor and therefore cannot make any health prescriptions, however I am a health professional and therefore I can make some health suggestions. And when it comes to boosting one’s energy, Vitamin D remains one of the top Vitamins on my list of Supplement Recommendations for all of our clients. Whether I’m working with a male or female, young or old, Vitamin D in my opinion is essential to maximize overall health and well being. The more natural energy you have (as is not caffeine dependent) the more energy your immune system will have when fighting off the cold and flu season.

Deal With It

Just because you happen to get sick or injured does not mean that you are unhealthy or weak. Think of it like a sports game, you can’t win every game nor can you decide the final result all the time. And when it comes to getting sick and/or injured, you can’t avoid every injury or illness known to man. But what you can do is prepare yourself for battle. What you can do is prepare yourself to try and win. And what you can do is be proactive with your body and your health for when you do fall down, you will get up that much quicker.

And if you are in fact currently dealing with an injury or illness just remember this – A minor setback paves the way for a major comeback.

Yours in Good Health,

Nick Cosgrove
Forever Fit Performance