Triathlon Health: 5 Tips to Stay Healthy While Competing – Issue #54

Posted admin Newsletters

Yesterday, I went to my masters swim workout and two people in my lane were sick and both said they had been suffering from a cold for 2 weeks!

It’s the season for joy and happiness and also clearly for getting sick! This phenomenon is mainly the result of:

  1. Eating too much sugar
  2. Eating too much
  3. Stress

The following article is a guide on how to stay healthy through these typically overindulgent and stressful times where every other person seems to have some kind of flu!

Stay healthy and enjoy!


6 Ways To Avoid Colds and Flus Over The Holidays

by Kevin Koskella

Triathlon Health

It seems that nearly everyone catches a cold or the flu between the months of December through February. Most people think this is just the way it has to be, and germs just randomly attack people. Well, this just isn’t true!

There are many ways to avoid these annoying and often depressing illnesses.

Follow these 5 suggestions and you will significantly reduce your chances of falling prey to one of these nasty attacks!

  1. Avoid sugar. As difficult as this may seem in during the holidays, it’s the #1 reason people get sick! Sugar takes a big hit on your immune system, and opens you up to disease. If you absolutely cannot do without sweets for 6 weeks, pick and choose a few specific times when you allow yourself a dessert. The daily chocolate around the office will surely come back to haunt you!
  2. Get enough sleep. If holiday demands are forcing you to cut down on sleep, you are also putting stress on your defense against germs. Winter is actually a time when you should plan to sleep a little more than usual, not try to get by with as little as possible.
  3. Avoid Stuffing Yourself. Although it may be tempting to overeat during this time, this will cause your liver to have to work extra hard, and lead to you getting sick. Overeating any time is also a good way to gain extra weight, as your body stores some of what it can’t use as fat. Stick with smaller meals more often and don’t let others pressure you into eating too much “because it’s the holiday season.” Nibbling on appetizers for hours before a big meal can really do you in. Make sure you think about what you are eating and slow down on the alcohol!
  4. Prioritize and Reduce Stress. Make sure you are prioritizing your work and daily activities so you don’t become overwhelmed and stressed out. Keeping unwanted stress away is a big factor in staying healthy. Take up yoga or meditation, or just reserve 20-30 minutes per day that’s “your time”- where you don’t have to do anything or be anywhere.
  5. Cook with Coconut Oil. For many years coconut oil was the preferred oil for Americans, until the Canola industry spread false rumors about it, claiming that it was bad for your health. Recent studies have shown that in fact by not eating coconut oil we are missing out on nutrients that keep our immune systems strong. It is the only “good” form of saturated fat. To stay strong, have a couple of teaspoons every day, either in your cooking or as part of a smoothie.
  6. Aerobic Workouts. If you’re going to miss a workout, make it an anaerobic one. Stick with your walking, jogging, swimming, cycling. Anaerobic workouts like lifting weights, or doing sprints, put more stress on the body, and skipping these occasionally during this time of year can actually benefit your health. Perfect time to jump in the pool and practice stroke drills!

TSC Tip of the Month: The “S” Curve

Too many times I have heard swimmers ask me, “should I do the ‘S’ Curve when I pull?”

The “S” Curve has been a method, created by the Red Cross, of teaching a swimmer how to do the “proper” pull in freestyle. However, this is not exactly correct. First, there are many things you need to concentrate on and learn in freestyle before you tackle the pull. Making an S in the water as you pull can actually be disruptive to the rest of your stroke. Learn first to swim on your side by practicing balance drills.

Once you have that down, you can then focus on pulling:

As you slice your hand in the water and move it forward, keep moving it forward until it is straight. Bend your elbow and pull back as you rotate your hips and the other arm comes foward. As you catch the water, curve your hand back inward toward your belly button, then out again by your hip as your hand exits the water.

The end of the pull should be pushing the water towards your feet by straightening out your arm with your hand next to your hip.

Avoid “crossing over”, or reaching past the middle of your body as you rotate or breathe. Think of keeping your pull to the outside.

To view proper pull on video, order The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD.