Whether in-season or out-of-season, it’s important athletes take care of themselves during the winter months. The cold weather impacts your body by tightening muscles, causing dehydration and, for some, triggering asthma. As the extreme temperatures settle in, use our guide to athletic health care to help athletes prepare their bodies for the cold winter months.
Get enough sleep
It’s important to make sure you get between 8-10 hours of sleep to help prevent your immune system from weakening. Sleep allows the body uninterrupted time to restore and repair itself. During sleep, your body produces infection-fighting antibodies and protective “cytokines,” or proteins that orchestrate your body’s response to infection and inflammation. Getting enough sleep is important in overall athlete health.
Practice good nutrition
The winter is not be the time to try an extreme or fad diet. Make sure to eat breakfast and enough that supplements your activity and workload during the day. Fruits and vegetables will support your immune system and provide the nutrients necessary to stay healthy. Under-eating will weaken your immune system.
Allowing your body to become dehydrated will leave your immune system weak and more vulnerable to get sick. Staying hydrated will help flush out toxins in the body and also help with dry skin and problems that go along with that.
Respect Rest and Recovery Days
Intense training is necessary to improve, but without recovery and rest build into a training program, excessive training can lead to a compromised immune system.