By Joseph Oyebanji

As winter draws upon us it is becoming noticeably colder (shiver, shiver), darker and moodier J  However more and more clients are turning up to the gym with sinus infections, colds, runny noses or one flu type or another.  

A regular question I’m asked is what to take, or what to do as darkness looms ahead, so let me shed a bit of light on what to do over the winter months!

I used to think periodization was only for professional athletes, and would train ridiculously hard January through December, and without fail around November would start wearing out, by catching colds and flaring up with Eczema, both signs of a compromised/imbalanced immune system.

So my lightning fast mind (it isn’t really) told me to slow down a notch, and take more care of myself as the year drew to an end, which I did and delved a little deeper, here’s what I discovered…

1 – Go down a gear, or two

Now, I like training hard, no sorry…I friggin adore training very, very hard!  But this is not something I’d advise all year round and here’s why: Studies have shown that immunity is slightly impaired immediately following intense training, so if your body is already fighting what’s ‘going around’ it doesn’t help to relentlessly exercise relentlessly all the time, catch my drift.
Try this:  Increase rest times between sets & exercises, avoid absolute failure, if running/cycling don’t go ‘all-out’ for entire distance, or decrease distance.  Hey even take an extra rest day (not a PT day...obviously!)

2 – Broths n Stews

The reason I love broths/stocks  (interchangeable terms I won’t explain but rather would admonish one to acquire a book from Leith’s or Delia etc :), is because you are gently cooking down bones and joints etc at a very low heat that does not cause damage to life giving enzymes and other nutrients, and catching all of this goodness into a concentrated liquid…O...My...Gosh...that’s like life in a pot!!!  Or for you Metaphysical/Biblical/Spiritual scholars out there look at it this way.  

The Old Testament records that: ‘The life of every creature is in the blood’ -Leviticus 17:14.  Question: where is blood manufactured?  Answer: In the marrow, and what do you extract out of a bone when reducing it? You guessed it marrow, or for want of a better term ‘life’,  Ok Sunday school over! J 

  ‘Why not just drink the blood, blud?’ I hear all true ‘Raw-ists’ chorus. But that really, really is not my style…blud!

Try this: Have a broth with lots of Chilli, Garlic, Onions,  1-2x/week.

Go to for details on how to make a broth.

That’s it for this week, next week I’ll let you in on a special stew guaranteed to knock the socks off any flu!  As well as dealing with those cravings and winter blues. 

  Until then, ‘Stay happy, stay healthy..!’

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