3 Things to do to prevent getting sick

You can DO A LOT to PREVENT getting sick.

The holiday season is upon us! That just means the weather is getting colder (in some areas of the country), kids are back in school (and spreading germs), and holiday stress increases for some.

Here are 3 EASY tips to staying healthy throughout the holiday season.

1.  Plan your nutrition.
2. Take your vitamins regularly (including extra Vitamin C)
3. Dedicate time to recovery (from training and from stress)

PLAN YOUR NUTRITION

Learning this skill will help you achieve so much in your physical preparation.  No matter what your goal, planning how to eat in order to get there is vital.  You can do  some simple math to determine the amount of calories and macro-nutrients to start from. 

Multiply your bodyweight (or desired bodyweight) X 12 = TOTAL CALORIES PER DAY

You can also choose to multiply by 13, 14 or 15.  It's a starting point so it is ok if you are not spot on right away.  I use 12 for most general population because they are not accustomed to eating as much as an experienced lifter.  They also may not have the same goals as an experienced lifter.  If you are a weight lifter or are looking to gain weight then 15 might be more appropriate for you.

Now that you have your total calories, calculate your macro-nutrient ratios.  Protein will be the highest percentage of calories or at least tied for the highest percentage.  Here are some examples:

General: 40% Protein / 40% Carbohydrates / 20% Fat

Low Carb: 50% Protein / 20% Carbohydrates / 30% Fat

Other Example: 50% Protein / 30% Carbohydrates / 20% Fat

There is no right or wrong so pick one and see how it works.  Adjust the amounts accordingly.  This means RECORD what you eat, how you feel (energy), how you feel (emotionally and look in the mirror.  It will not take more than a few days to start to gain some insights.  If you do adjust, adjust 1 thing at a time and over time you will learn to eat for your body.  No more guessing game.

Reverse the Food Pyramid:

My friend Greg posted a wonderful post on Instagram about this.  Vegetables should be the higest in quantity followed by meats with grains and sweets at the peak (very little if any at all).

VITAMINS

Man I cannot understate the value of taking vitamins.  Yes, food is your primary source of nutrients BUT nobody eats perfectly all of the time and life is not 100% predictable either.  Foods bought at a grocery store may have lower than expected nutrient contents.  The environment may have pollution levels.  You might drink alcohol or do drugs in a week (some people do this believe it or not).  You might be lacking in sleep or you might not drink enough water.  There are so many reasons to supplement! It's to help stay closer to optimal levels. 

Take a MULTIVITAMIN!  This is your foundation of vitamins and minerals.  If you take nothing else take this.
Take lots of Vitamin C.  I am talking 5 to 10 grams each day.  If you get sick take even more (10 to 20 grams).  You can also take high levels of vitamin D when you are not sick to help your immune system (5000 to 10,000 IU daily. 

DEDICATE TIME TO RECOVERY AND STRESS RELIEF

Dedicate time to reducing tension in your body.  This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of training.  Contrary to popular opinion and the majority of the fitness world, stretching is the best thing you can do for yourself and should be the top priority in your program.  Strength training is used as an add-on and should be done as little as needed.  If you are stressed out from work and are not sleeping, working out could be the worst idea for your health.  Focus on sleep and happiness...then training will be an enhancement of who you are rather than an escape form your demons.

Spend time in nature and appreciate each day for the opportunity around you.  Find the successes you have each day and the good you do.  I know I was surprised at how often I beat myself up (once I started paying attention).  It can change your life!!


Tom LegathComment