How to Handle Man Flu like a Pro

Another great article from Peter Minkoff

You might have thought up until now that man flu only affects guys who can’t muscle through a puny cold, but the gig is up – man flu is an actual thing! According to research, certain types of viruses can affect men more severely than they do women. So tell your girlfriend that science says you’re not a wimp, she just has it easy.

However, the problem of preventing and battling a seasonal virus still remains, and with the ever-increasing number of people contracting a pathogen in the winter months, you want to do whatever it takes to avoid getting bedridden for too long. Here is how you can handle man flu like a true pro!


Don’t treat it, prevent it

If you get it, there’s not much you can do about it except sleep a lot, eat soup, and binge watch Game of Thrones. Therefore, instead of exposing your immune system to threats, you want to prevent viruses from ever getting the idea of attacking you.

Remember, prevention is the best remedy (not laughter), so not only do you want to stick to several crucial lifestyle habits, you also want to avoid getting into close contact with people in high-risk areas such as the office, the gym or public transportation.

Don’t stop exercising

One of the best ways to weaken your immune system and leave it vulnerable to attacks is to stop exercising, particularly during the flu season. Research has shown time and time again that physical exercise is an important factor in strengthening your immune system, due to the increased hormone production and the production of antibodies responsible for fighting inflammation.

Whether you’re an avid runner or a strength athlete, you want to get in at least 60-80 minutes of exercise per week to keep your immune response revving and your immune system challenged. This will allow you to deflect any outside attacks more effectively than your sedentary peers.

Stock up on healthy supplements

Trying to get the right amount of crucial minerals and vitamins in solely through foods is much like trying to increase your one-rep-max by doing sets of 10 reps day in and day out – it’s time consuming, and ineffective.

Because every vitamin and mineral has its unique bioavailability (how effectively your body can utilize it from certain foods), you want to obtain your daily dose from natural Solgar supplements instead of trying to eat 10 lemons to get enough vitamin C, or a pound of pumpkin seeds to get enough magnesium. Remember, supplementation is important.

But don’t forget to eat healthy too

However, that doesn’t mean that supplements can safeguard your health from bad diet choices. You still need to keep your diet in check, opting for healthy food sources entailing proteins, healthy carbs, and more importantly, healthy fats as well.

Contrary to popular belief, you do want to eat a little bit more during the winter season in order to make up for the increased energy expenditure. This will allow your body to allocate nutrients to support immune system functions as well. So instead of trying to maintain a low body fat percentage, allow your body to rest, recover, and become stronger by gaining some weight.

Don’t worry, you’ll shed off the extra pounds once the flu season is over.

Don’t be a jarhead

Finally, don’t be a man about it. Seriously, nobody is going to think less of you. It’s a common occurrence to see men trying to muscle through a viral infection by following their usual schedule as if nothing is happening. But this will only lead to more trouble down the road.

If you do get sick, accept the fact that you’re unable to work or train, and allow yourself a few days of bedrest and plenty of soup in order to recover properly. You want to kill the virus completely, so make sure you refrain from jumping back into your workout the moment you start feeling better, instead give yourself a few more days.

It’s not easy having to lie in bed all day long, waiting for the flu to blow over. Alas, if it comes to it, it’s the best thing you can do. Be sure to use these tips to prevent catching this common malady and spend the winter season enjoying life and crushing PRs like a pro!

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