Exercise is great for keeping energy levels up during the dark winter days, but with cold and flu germs rife, the sneezes and sniffles can play havoc with your exercise routine.
Unfortunately even the most dedicated gym goers can still succumb to the dreaded winter germs. Here's your winter survival guide for battling against the germs or planning your exercise if you do fall prey the bugs.
Plan A: Arm yourself against the germs
Add a bit of fizz to your water bottle
With a double hit of energy release and immunity support in handy fast dissolving sachets, pop some new Emergen-C in your water bottle. Not only will it make your dull old water taste great but these little sachets are packed with 1000mg of Vitamin C for immunity support and 6 B Vitamins for energy release in every little sachet – you'll feel like you're walking (or running!) on sunshine! Emergen-C comes in three fruity flavours which contain real fruit extracts: Super Orange, Zesty Lemon and Juicy Strawberry. Find your favourite fizz at Boots and Tesco now! Emergen-C costs £4.99 for a pack of 8, £13.99 for a pack of 24 and 99p for a single sachet. Adults should take up to one sachet per day. www.emergen-c.co.uk
Get some protection
What's lurking on those sticky cross trainer handles? Pop some Cuticura Anti Bacterial Hand Serum in your gym bag. It forms a long-lasting, invisible glove to protect hands from germs for up to eight hours. The alcohol free formulation is extra-kind on sensitive skin. Cuticura Anti Bacterial Hand Serum (RRP £2.49) is available from Boots and leading independent pharmacies.
Give yourself the edge
Help your body through winter with a multi-vitamin designed to support physical endurance. Centrum Performance is a unique formulation containing a combination of 23 vitamins, minerals and herbs including Ginseng, to help support physical endurance and high levels of vitamin B to unlock energy from food, as well as Gingko Biloba to help maintain an active mind. Centrum Performance, £7.69 for 30 tablets, available from Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Boots and Holland & Barrett. www.centrum.co.uk
Protect your throat
Ultra Chloraseptic® Anaesthetic Throat Spray provides an ideal way to help ease the pain of a sore throat fast and help you make the most of your workout. Unlike some anaesthetic lozenges, which can numb the whole mouth area, Ultra Chloraseptic's gentle spray goes directly to the site of the pain for faster, more effective and targeted relief. Just three sprays of Ultra Chloraseptic can numb the pain in seconds, compared to some lozenges, which can take minutes to dissolve properly and take full effect.
The products contain the active ingredient benzocaine (a local anaesthetic to numb pain). The swivel head applicator delivers the spray straight to the throat, targeting the pain and working in seconds.
Ultra Chloraseptic® Anaesthetic Throat Sprays are available in three great tasting, sugar-free flavours – Blackcurrant, Cherry and Original Menthol. All are available in pocket-friendly capped bottles for ease of use 'on the go' bringing ultra-fast, ultra-effective relief for the pain and discomfort caused by sore throats.
Available in most Boots, Superdrug, Grocery and leading pharmacies in the UK without prescription. Ultra Chloraseptic costs £5.75, with each bottle containing more than 100 sprays (30 adult doses) and is suitable for children 6 and over at the lower dose of 1 spray. Contains Benzocaine. Always read the label and visit www.ultrachloraseptic.co.uk for more information.
The eyes have it
The last thing you need when you're training outside is to be bothered with streaming eyes. Murine, one of the UK's most popular eye care brands, offers a dual action pharmacy only product that provides fast, pharmacy strength relief for sore, irritated and red eyes.
Murine Irritation & Redness Relief Eye Drops is specially formulated to clear redness and soothe eyes which have been irritated by dust, wind, swimming, smoke, air pollutants and close work.
The key ingredient is Naphazoline – proven to rapidly reduce swelling – and no other product containing this ingredient is stronger. The eye drops are fast acting and long lasting.
Available from the pharmacy counter at Boots, Superdrug, Lloyds, Tesco and other independent pharmacies priced at £3.67 for 10ml. With a comprehensive range of products, Murine has the ideal solutions to ensure your eyes feel good and look good. For further information visit www.murine.co.uk.
Plan B: What to do if you've already got a cold
To exercise or not to exercise that is the question.
When symptoms hit should you power through or put your feet up? Personal trainer Rob Jones from StrideFit (www.stridefit.com) sets the record straight. It all depends on how you feel and what type of symptoms you have.
Symptoms from the neck-up? for example a runny nose or stuffy sinuses.
"You can still perform light to moderate cardio exercise, just depending on how severe you find your symptoms. A good way to judge this intensity level is by your breathing during exercise– basically you should aim to hit that level where you can still hold a conversation whilst jogging, walking, etc."
Symptoms from the neck down? for example a sore throat and chesty cough
"Sit it out and leave the exercise for another day. Sit back, relax, take some time off exercise to recuperate – remember, save your energy for fighting the illness."
Got a fever?
"Steer clear of exercise until you've got through the worst of it and the fever has gone. To be honest, you probably won't feel like exercising anyway. An illness that causes a raised temperature tends to increase the heart rate, so most definitely not a good idea to raise your pulse with any high intensity exercise."