MAINTAIN A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM
Winter brings with it several difficulties for triathletes. Getting out the door to train can be more arduous simply because of the logistics of dealing with the cold, dark, snow and ice. Other challenges to fitness arise as the temptation to stay under a warm blanket and enjoy rich, warming comfort-food increases, especially as the summer race season seems ever distant. But, to make the most of the next race season, the prep starts in the winter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a break, but health and fitness can be maintained, and even increased, through working on nutrition as well as potentially other skills and alternate fitness. Here are some things to watch, and take care of, nutritionally during the winter:
Winter is the predominant season for colds and other illnesses. A healthy immune system can help ward of the germs or lessen the impact/ duration of any infections. Adequate vitamin C intake, along with other antioxidants, are linked with a strong immune system. Try and eat more foods such as citrus fruits, cranberries, broccoli, spinach and sweet potato (all of which are in season during winter) along with zinc rich foods such as fish, oysters, chicken, eggs and milk. If fresh produce is not readily available during the cold winter, then try the frozen foods section. Vegetables and fruits that are snap frozen when fresh in season will provide more nutrients than canned. Probiotics will assist in maintaining healthy gut flora – the central driver for the immune system. Fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchee are the best dietary sources, as well as a multistrain probiotic supplement.