It’s Winter in Australia and this is a common time of the year for athletes to become unwell.
The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection and is typically caused by viruses which are more common in the Winter months.
You can protect yourself against a “cold” by:
- Frequent hand washing – with waterless hand gel or with soap and water
- after sneezing or coughing
- before eating or touching your face
- after training
- after using tissues
- after contact with communal spaces or places
- Avoiding contact with unwell people
- Ensuring you & your crew mates practice good hygiene by covering your mouths when coughing or sneezing
- Practicing good recovery strategies:
- nutritious food
- adequate fluids
- sufficient sleep
Influenza is a different respiratory virus, that can be prevented with the flu vaccination, which should be had every year by athletes due to the potential severity of the illness and the subsequent length of training often missed with this infection.
When you get a cold, should you train?
- You should never train with a fever (temperature > 37.5oC)
- A good guide is, if the symptoms are all above the neck, lighter training intensity and shorter duration is recommended for developing rowers
- If the symptoms are below the neck, substituting a rowing or dry land training session for a light walk is recommended
- Unwell athletes should be excluded from communal training venues such as the gym or ergo room until they are well to reduce the risk of transmission to crew mates
It is worth noting that some cold & flu preparations used to manage the common cold are not permitted in sport under the WADA code. All athletes should check any medications they wish to use on Globaldro