Muscle Building 101: Keep the Doctor Away

Doctor Evil.
Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies

Have you ever been 110% dedicated to achieving your muscle building goals, only to fall so ill that you had no other choice but to stop training?

Well, you’re not the only one. In fact, One of the most frequently recurring themes for breaking routine in the gym is not injury, but illness – most of the time a minor ailment; a viral infection such as a cold or flu, for example.

So how do we avoid being ill so that we can train harder?

Before I explain how we can avoid getting ill, it will make more sense if you first understand why we get ill, as it will certainly help you stay well enough to work out.

Quick disclaimer: I have keenly studied natural health and medicine both in my spare time and in professional naturopathic nutrition courses, which helps me feel I know a little about this topic. I’ve also managed to avoid getting ill for over two years now since I started learning about optimal health.

Almost every week I am witness to someone who claims they have been struck with illness x, y or z because of some external circumstances that were outside of their control.

I caught a cold” or “A nasty stomach bug is going around” are just a couple of the excuses that many of us spit out like a broken record on repeat.

We get ill. We blame something. We recover. The cycle repeats.

I assure you that I’m not putting all the blame on you. Obviously there are other factors involved here that determine how well you are at any given moment. We’re consistently misled by a variety of sources such as magazines & websites sponsored by the supplements industry (magazines like Mens Health, Flex etc), our Government health organizations (FDA) and also loving family, friends and colleagues who don’t know any better.

However when our health is less than great, there’s always a reason – and it’s important to understand that it’s not because the world turned against us – but because our immune systems simply weren’t strong enough at that moment to defend our bodies against foreign invaders and disease.

A lot of us don’t yet understand the true strength of the human immune system because we’re so used to living in conditions which keep it subdued. The following items will work to weaken your immune system:

  • Sugary, cooked, processed, refined and heavily artificial foods on a daily basis
  • Over-eating every meal
  • Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
  • Severe lack of daily cardiovascular exercise
  • Pharmaceuticals for any kind of ailment whether they be headaches or sleeplessness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Any kind of stress – job that don’t fulfil us, TV, newspapers, partners, family, children, co-workers, pets etc.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Basically we’re used to living in a toxic environment where illness is very normal.

But it’s not natural to have chronic obesity, heart disease and cancer rates of the likes we’re used to seeing. I’m going to show you a way that you can break free from the norm, and live a healthy life without fear of being stuck out of the gym because of colds and bugs. Pay close attention to this because it requires your participation for it to work.

You will probably escape any kind of illness if you do some or all of the following every day:

  • Cut out dairy from your diet
  • Eat more green, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach and kale
  • Replace your sugary snacks and foods with fresh fruit
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Exercise for at LEAST 30 minutes a day, at about 70% intensity minimum with warming up & stretching before and after
  • Stop consuming and using things on your body that were created with industrial chemicals (pretty much all canned, packaged foods)
  • Lower your addiction to the television and news sources – they rot your mind with negativity and have a measurable impact on your state of health
  • Lower or completely ditch your addiction to over the counter pharmaceuticals (things like painkillers, acid relief, sleeping pills) – the chances are that if you follow the steps here you won’t need them at all

Doing the above will lead to “homeostasis” which means maintaining a constant state of balance within the body. The more chemically balanced our bodies are, the healthier we’ll be.

A quick way of knowing whether you’re in balance or not comes daily practice of simply paying attention to how we feel. Our bodies tell us exactly what we need/don’t need but we regularly ignore them when we do things like overeat, smoke cigarettes or neglect to exercise.

If we can work towards reducing our intake of pharmaceuticals, eating more whole, plant-based foods and cutting out a lot of the negativity we feel on a daily basis – we’ll be on our way to keeping ourselves out of the doctor’s and staying in the gym where we can quickly achieve our muscle building physical goals.

How to treat a common cold & flu naturally and effectively (way more effectively than with pharmaceuticals)

When we get a cold the first thing most people think of is going to the pharmacy and buying drugs. And it’s normal. But it’s not good for you, and it doesn’t get rid of the virus quickly.

The problem with western medicine cold remedies is that they’re designed to alleviate symptoms and not the actual virus. This is how most pharmacy works – remove the symptoms and keep customers. Some of the caveats of using pharmaceuticals is that they’re made with ingredients that are not good for you, actually weakening your bodies natural defenses, they cost a lot of money compared to natural treatments, they can be addictive and continued use can actually lead to further illness.

When I’ve used traditional western approaches to cure my cold in the past, it’s taken me about a week or two to get over the virus completely. It’s ridiculous, given that the last few times I’ve had a cold I’ve used natural remedies to remove the virus and all symptoms within about 2-4 days. Nowadays, whenever I feel a cold coming on, I am able to avoid it entirely by taking specific precautions.

The most effective precautions/treatments that I’ve found to avoid or recover from the common cold & flu have been to:

  • Stop eating heavy foods and if possible, juice fast (I won’t cover that topic here, but there’s a very good recipe herefor healing your body that tastes great)Heavy, processed foods will divert energy away from your immune response to the virus
  • Dice 2 large cloves of garlic and wash down with water every 4 hours, and drink warm water with crushed ginger and honeyGarlic, ginger and honey are natural anti-virals which will clean the blood quickly, helping to destroy the virus attacking your system
  • Buy a couple packs of kiwi fruits and eat at least 5 a day – these have more vitamin C per gram than either oranges or lemons
  • Light exercise for 30 minutesThis will engage the lymph system which is responsible for transporting waste materials from cells to the liver – don’t overdo it otherwise it will have the opposite effect
  • Take a midday nap for at least 30 mins if you can, and have a longer sleep at night for at least 7 hoursThe more you sleep, the more you allow your body to heal

What if I get a stomach bug or something else that stops me from working out?

This article isn’t going to cover all the possible ways you could overcome illness, but what I’ll say is that if you follow the guidelines above you’ll energize your immune system and you won’t get ill nearly as much as you did before.

If there’s anything you want to add to help people stay out of the doctors and in the gym, please share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments.

Thanks for reading and keep training hard!

Clément Yeung

Founder & Fitness Nerd

Founder of Muscle4Hardgainers. Loves to experiment and teach others the best ways to reach their physical goals.

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