Got a tickle in our throat and worried you might be ill? Don't get bunged up and beaten by a runny nose when you'd rather be out training! Protect your body from the common cold and keep on running with our six home remedies.
1. Rest is best
Sleep is like energy elixir, yet it’s often over-looked. According to the NHS, if you're prone to feeling run down, a lack of sleep could be the reason you keep getting ill. Prolonged lack of shut eye can disrupt your immune system, leaving you less able to fend off bugs.
Combat the onslaught of illness by aiming to get at least eight hours sleep a night. If you’re used to using your phone before bed, switch it to flight mode at least an hour before sleeping to give your brain some time to wind down.
2. Ease off your training
If you feel yourself getting run down, turn down the mileage and allow yourself time to relax. There's no shame in taking a bit of a break, even if you're in full marathon training mode. If you don't want to cut down too much switch your harder workouts, such as speed work and tempo sessions, for relaxed slower miles or cross train where you can.
3. Keep your hands off your face
The NHS advise that one of the quickest ways to get ill is by touching your face with cold infected hands. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes and nose, so try and keep your hands to yourself. If you have any infection on your digits and you touch your eyes or nose you are more likely to pass the virus into your system.
Reduce your chances of getting ill by keeping your fingers well away from that beautiful face of yours and wash your hands thoroughly as often as possible.
4. Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise
To save trekking to the sink every 10 minutes, a quick spritz of hand sanitiser is the easiest preventative for spreading the common cold. Airborne germs find their way onto surfaces that you might then touch and unknowingly spread. Sanitising will stop that in its tracks and help rid you of any viruses that might be lurking on your hands ready to infect you.
5. Get outside
Staying indoors may seem like the best route to staying sniffle-free but venturing out into the open can actually benefit your health. Being cooped up in restricted spaces will make you more susceptible to germs due to the way that colds are spread through tiny droplets of mucus that are coughed out into the air.
This may be unavoidable in some circumstances, but you can lessen those chances when you have the option of getting out. Vitamin D and daylight will also work wonders for your well being and mood, so wrap up warm, get outdoors and fill your lungs with some fresh air.
6. Layer up
Venturing into the chilly weather won't give you the cold virus, however the NHS advise that your symptoms are more likely to progress in colder weather if you're already carrying it. One way around this is to head out on to your run with plenty of layers to prevent your symptoms from worsening. If it gets particularly chilly where you live, invest in a base layer and a good hat.
7. Eat and drink well
An easy way to maintain your immune system is with a balanced, nutritious diet that contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, washed down with lots of water. This isn't to say you shouldn't tuck into a slice of cake every now and then, but keeping your body fuelled with a balanced vitamin rich diet will do your immune system the world of good and enable you to run all year round.
If you do feel unwell, always err on the side of caution and skip your training schedule until you feel better, or visit your GP.