In light of the Coronavirus pandemic‘s effect on the world, including the NBA suspending the rest of the season and the NCAA cancelling March Madness, here is how athletes should handle the pandemic.
1. Remain Calm
It’s easy to panic when viruses like the COVID-19 break out but hysteria won’t solve the problem or do you any good. Rather, you should make sure you obtain accurate information from the reliable sources such as the Center for Disease Control or the Word Health Organization and practice good hygiene (I.e. wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face).
2. Remain Active
Exercise improves your overall fitness and can help strengthen your immune system—the body's defense against infections. Furthermore, physical activity can help flush out bacteria from your lungs and nasal cavities, reducing your chance of getting a cold or the flu.
Which is why it’s critical that you stick to your workout regime (or at least close to it). With concerns rising from sharing equipment and locker rooms, not going to the gym is valid but you should find a modified routine to do at home so you remain in shape and remain healthy. If you are going to the gym, be sure to wipe down equipment and handles before and after use; drink from your own personal water bottle (not a shared water fountain); and limit your time at the gym visited by many.
Physical activity can certainly boost your immune system but so does proper rest and sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, your immune system will have a more difficult time fighting a virus than a well-rested one. Plus, proper sleep is essential to athlete performance.
You should aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
4. Feed your Mind & Body
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine.”
Nutrition certainly impacts our body’s immune systems, which is why it’s essential to get the proper nutrients to prevent yourself from getting sick and supporting your immunity. Furthermore, it can help you recover quickly, should you get sick. Fruits and vegetables packed with antioxidants and whole grains are best. Furthermore, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and remain well-hydrated.
Many athletes consider adding supplements to boost their immune system and while vitamins such as D and C produce antimicrobial proteins that kill viruses and bacteria, we encourage you to get your vitamins directly from your food since supplements can include prohibited substances (and excess, synthetic ingredients that may produce an adverse reaction within your body).
5. Take Extra Precautions
Don’t share food or drinks with others;
Don’t shake hands with others (greet them with a wave or an elbow bump (if appropriate));
Use your own writing materials (pens, markers, highlighters);
Avoid places with large crowds.
Healthy and best wishes from The Zone family.