With this year's flu season here in the Bay Area in full swing, you may be trying to stay well. Unfortunately for people who love the outdoors, this may not be the best time to come down with the flu. If you want to be flu-free and still be able to exercise, here are a few tips to help keep you healthy and lessen your chances of catching it.
Avoid gyms. If you typically go to gyms this time of the year because it's warmer than being inside, you may want to think twice. Unfortunately, those who are sick are not always respectful of others, and still decide to go to the gym to "sweat it out". They end up leaving behind their sweat and other contagious body fluids on the equipment that you are likely to pick up next. Aside from that, you are putting yourself in close proximity to others where you can ingest the infectious air that they are breathing out. Instead, try working out at home with exercises such as squats, lunges, or other bodyweight exercises. Invest in a weight like a set of dumbbells or kettlebells to do your own workouts.
If you really can't skip the gym, wipe down the equipment you're going to use before you use it. You cannot assume that everyone is responsible enough to wipe it down after they use it, so take matters into your own hands for your own sake.
Avoid races. Before you say, "but I love running races," think about it. You are putting yourself in a large group of people, where, like the gym, some ill people do not decide to do the right thing and stay at home. In a large crowd of sweaty people huffing and puffing from the run, you will be running right into their germs. Plus, with the cold air, the germs will linger around longer. Instead, try going for walks or solo jogs where you are not coming into contact with so many people.
Always wash your hands before handling food or touching your face. The general rule is to wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 30 seconds, and to dry them with a disposable paper towel.
This should be a no-brainer, but eat healthy and drink lots of water. Try to eat as many fresh fruits and veggies that you can and drink water to help purify your body.
Vitamin D has also been known to help your immune system. Make sure you take it with a meal, preferably at night because it is also known to make some people a little bit groggy.
Lastly, if you yourself are sick, do yourself and everyone a favor and stay home. You will not get better if you keep running your body down while it is fighting an illness, and you run the risk of spreading the virus.