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Updated: Mar 22, 2022

The influenza virus. IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

The flu virus is still a dangerous one, even if it causes relatively few deaths. It spreads quickly and is highly contagious. Fevers, coughs, sore throats, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue are common symptoms.

Wrestlers and combat athletes should pay particular attention to flu prevention. Despite the flu outbreak seeming minor compared to other more serious illnesses, it is no less dangerous.

The flu can be prevented or treated with flu prevention measures. However, there is no cure at the moment. Athletes and wrestlers can do a lot to curb the spread of germs that cause illnesses like influenza.

Here are a few steps any athlete can take to avoid getting the flu.

1. Use soap and water to wash your hands frequently. This is the single most effective way to prevent the flu. If soap and water are unavailable, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2. When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Toss the tissue into the trash immediately.

3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth as germs can spread quickly through these areas.

4. Avoid practicing and training if you are ill. Working out while you are feverish increases the risk of dehydration, puts the team at risk for infection, and increases the risk of injury due to weakness.

5. If you suspect someone is infected, try to avoid close contact with them.

6. The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot.

7. Eat a nutrient-rich diet. Eating six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily will support healthy immune functioning.

8. Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night! Adding one more hour of sleep to your normal schedule will make you less susceptible to infection.

9. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids. Dry mucus membranes in the nose and throat don't function well, so staying hydrated helps your body's natural defenses.

10. In recent studies, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D have been shown to boost immunity.

11. You should not share food or drinks with friends, and avoid communal foods.

Bringing home the hardware

In writing these articles, we aim to reduce infection, educate our community, and raise the bar for the standards we set for wrestling hygiene. By preventing infections, we'll keep wrestlers on the mat and off the bench so they can bring home that hardware! The mission of Wrestling Savvy is to educate the general public and the wrestling community at all levels. We appreciate your sharing, comments, and subscriptions.

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