Lea Davison is XC Mountain Biker who rides for the Specialized Global team. She just took third place at the World Championships and is an expert at avoiding illness. As we head into winter, we are surrounded by coughs and sneezes so why not follow Lea’s top tips to see if you can become as talented as she is at avoiding a pesky cold:
“If your friend’s second cousin has a cold or if someone coughs 10 rows back on the airplane you go into full cold fighting mechanics, full on assault. Here are my top tips to avoiding a cold:
- Garlic – some people roast a whole bulb and go for it. But I usually do raw as I think it is more powerful. You don’t make any friends but at least you are not sick. I chop it up, put oil and salt on it and dip bread into it.
- Ginger – I juice ginger and have a straight up ginger shot which is a little tough to take, it is very similar to a normal shot of alcohol, it burns in the same way but it’s good. Sometimes I combine it with apple cider but straight up if you are fighting a cold.
- Zicam – I always have Zicam with me which is a zinc formula or just zinc tablets. I take that very frequently. You take it one every four hours until the symptoms reside but I will sometimes take two at once.
- Probiotic – If I am really coming down with something that I need to fight off, I’ll take a pro-biotic.
- Steam – If I am starting to come down with a cold I will steam my face so it is better for breathing and pop in some Olbas oil in there too. I have also heard a sauna is good to sweat it out.
- Rest – If I have a cold, I just go for an hour light spin if I am feeling a little energetic but otherwise you are better not train and just sleep it off. I used to freak out about taking three days off, but then I had hip surgery, took four months off the bike and I was fine, so taking a couple of days off won’t make a difference. It is way better to get quality training and take a day off and get rest than it is to run yourself into the ground. When you are ill, it is your body telling you that you are too tired. You get a cold because you need to rest.”
We also have it on good authority that Vicks First Defence is another must have for the winter season. The British riders never fly without it, and also bring along Strepsil throat lozenges and hand sanitizer when they are travelling.
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