It is that time of year where you start hearing coughing and sneezing everywhere and everyone is getting their best defense up to not get sick. The cold season can start as early as October and last up to March which is a good portion of the year. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hygiene is always important but even more so during this time. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer on you, not going out in the cold after training all sweaty, and even considering upping your amount of vitamin C intake.
Although missing out on training is never fun and something that many would rather not do, it is vital that if you are feeling some common cold symptoms to stay clear from the gym. Some things to look out for is runny nose, coughing, being over drowsy, nasal or head pressure, and of course a high temperature. Returning to the mats too quickly is not a good idea as you may still be contagious, but even worse you may amplify the cold into lasting longer. As general rule give yourself 48 hours after you are feeling normal to come back on the mats. Last if you take cold medicine that does not mean you are cured from getting others sick, so if you take some Dayquil or Robitussin and feel better that is not the key sign to get your gear and hit the mats.
It is a team effort to keep the sickness off the mats, and that means if you seeing someone who may be looking under the weather, sneezing, coughing, don’t be scared to simply ask if they are feeling alright and if not then to skip class. Also for any instructors, it is important to casually mention during this season to remind students that if they are sick to stay at home and rest up. With the topic of rest as a whole, we hear let your body heal, and when you are not feeling 100% a good night’s rest and healthy foods can really make a difference in fighting off the dreaded cold. Another thing that happens when you are coming down with a cold is lack of energy which can lead to injuries which no one wants.
When you are training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you are pushing your cardio to the limits even if you are not going full blast. There have been studies that show when you workout hard your immunity can break down just a little bit, and that is why getting a shower in after a workout is so important. This goes for your gear too as we are in the germ season it is a good idea to get those GI or NOGI items in the washer immediately, clean your mouth guard on a regular basis, avoid touching your eyes or mouth during class. Not a bad idea to spray down your gym bag from time to time with some disinfectant. Things that keep your immunity strong is a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fluids, so if your diet is not the greatest now is the time to makes sure you are eating that full food pyramid.
The first rule of any place practicing BJJ is to keep your shoes off the mats and your bare feet on the mats. There are bacteria from people’s shoes that can be tracked on the mat and cause a whole world of hurt. If you are responsible for cleaning the mats at the end of class put a little extra elbow grease or at least cleaner out there to get the funk. Last and just a good overall idea if there is sanitizer to use after or before class, it might not be a bad idea to give a squirt, and let it do the work.
At Casarez Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu located in Cary NC, we take pride in both our students and gym. I hope the above information will keep you on the mats and not in the bed with a box of tissues. Feel free to stop by for a free week of Adult BJJ or Kids BJJ. We also offer Capoeira classes as well.
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