Personal trainer and former Bachelor star Sam Wood spoke with Wellness Daily about his three-step workout to fight off the flu and stay healthy and happy in the looming peak season for ill-health.
According to new research from CODRAL, Australia is facing a cold and flu energy crisis, with 7.5 million Australians having fallen ill in the past month — a figure that is expected to increase as we enter flu season.
Sam Wood said that now is the time for us to be proactive.
“People think flu season’s a bit earlier than it is. It’s literally this week (start of August) when peak season hits,” he explained.
“Don’t think that it’s come and gone, and you’ve missed it, because that’s when it’ll get you.”
He suggested a three-step flu-fighting workout to help stay energised during the peak flu period, so as to stay on top both personally and professionally:
Step one: The neck check
“Spend five minutes listening to your body and acknowledge symptoms,” he said.
“I’m a big believer that when you’re sick, you’ve got to listen to your body.”
Step two: Warm up
Set aside 10 minutes for a tailored warm up to get your muscles moving and concentrate on breathing, he suggested.
“Keep moving, if you can. I always say if you’re really sick and it’s below the neck, that’s probably when you need to listen to your body and recuperate fully,” he said.
“But if it is a cold, which for most of us it is, particularly as we come into peak season, then you should be able to keep moving.”
Step three: Sweat it out (a little)
Here’s where the magic happens, Mr Wood noted, as we undergo exercise regimens to help the body regain energy.
“A hardcore [high-intensity] workout might become some gentle resistance work,” he said.
“Your run or sprint training might become a nice walk or an easy jog or a bike session where you’re not quite working at the same intensity.”
It is fundamentally important, he stressed, that every person take a proactive approach to fighting off flu symptoms.
“It’s funny how we’re so conscious of it at this time of year, and the reality is if we adopt the right principles – the right nutrition, looking after our health and fitness, taking medication as soon as we see those symptoms come on early – then, before we know it, we’ve gone the whole 365 days without it getting the better of us,” he said.
“It’s when we aren’t proactive that we really struggle to fight these things off, and they tend to get on top of us.”
Another incentive to putting in place such preventative measures is that it also aids our mental wellbeing.
“Once it gets hold of you, it absolutely has mental ramifications, and then you miss work, can’t have quality family time, and you get stressed that you’re missing those things, and it’s a snowball effect,” he mused.
“So, I absolutely believe there’s a correlation between keeping your physical immunity strong and staying mentally strong as well.”
And, when we do happen to fall ill, he suggested utilising medication.
“Try and take cold and flu tablets so you can do your day-to-day, still exercise but at a lower intensity, boost your immunity system with vitamin C foods, and soldier on as best you can,” he advised.
Finally, as both a proactive and reactive measure, he flagged the importance of sleep, saying it is “absolutely key” when it comes to proper management of our physical health and wellbeing.
“I’ve got a nine-month old, so seven hours isn’t as realistic right now. Seven is a very nice pipe dream, but it hasn’t happened for quite some time! But as close to that magic number as you can get, and then if you do feel those symptoms coming on, medicate and rest up by getting some extra sleep,” he said.
Sam Wood is a CODRAL ambassador, founder of 28 by Sam Wood and was the star of 2015’s season of The Bachelor Australia.