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Going to the Gym This Year?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
The H1N1 virus threat has me thinking about working out at home and avoiding the health club. If I get a shot, I may change my mind, but being in close proximity to equipment that gets constantly used by others just does not make sense. Normally, this has never been an issue with me, but, this year I wonder.
Am I being over-cautious?

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post #2 of 2
I don't think you are being overly-cautious to be concerned about it. My friend is just recovering from H1N1 and she said it is the worst she has every felt. Luckily she was able to fight it off after a week of dizzy, sweaty, deliriousness.

If you want to avoid health clubs, there are of course lots of great home workouts you can do to get ready for the season (lunges, wall sits, hill sprints, etc.). I'm no expert but I 'd bet there are many to choose from on line. My latest venture has been finally trying out a regular yoga practice with emphasis on balance and strength for skiing. I've discovered that yoga doesn't have to be all about expensive studio classes, all women classes, and tight pants. My ski buddies and I started doing some roof-top reggae yoga at my house, sometimes throwing in a few beers while the sunsets. Perhaps not what the yogis were thinking, but it suits me just fine. I can say that after 2 months of this practice my body has never felt better. 

Back to H1N1 and going to a gym ...

I was speaking to a doctor friend of mine the other day about H1N1 as I was trying to decipher the hype from truth. He told me that it is almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with the virus, but that there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure. If you do hit the gym, you may want to consider some of these preventative measures I found this summary floating around the inter-web. I hope they help.

The following advice, given by Dr. Oz, makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know:
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
 1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
 2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe.) 
 3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide if you don't trust salt).  *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, or hydrogen peroxide. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose softly once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
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