Call this spring? Tips for keeping healthy in the London cold

With the cold weather set to continue, we gives you handy hints to staying healthy, and sane, into spring.



By Michael McCormick

APART from the fact it’s technically spring, you could be forgiven in thinking this has been a particularly long winter. The frosty mornings have definitely begun to take their toll on my mood to the point where one of the girls at work called me grumpy. I used to be a very cheerful person, London!

The last thing I and, I’m going to go out on a limb here, every other travelling Kiwi wants, is to get sick. So I feel it is my duty to bestow upon the readers my (somewhat whacky) ways to stave off the curse that is the ‘Brrrrrrrrrritish Bug’.

There are of course the conventional ways of not getting sick when it’s cold – rugging up, getting your vitamin C and drinking hot cocoa by the fire while mum reads you bedtime stories. But then you still get sick. “What the expletive!”, right?

Keeping healthy in this kind of cold requires you to think outside the square. You know what, don’t even think – let me do the thinking for you.

Here are my top five tips for staying healthy when ‘winter’ (or ‘everyday’ as some Londoner friends of mine call it) hits.

Expose yourself

To the cold that is, not the little old lady in the park. Get your body used to the cold and build your immunity by taking a cold shower every few days, going for winter wonder walks in shorts and a singlet, or just cryogenically freezing yourself. That last option might be slightly more expensive than the other two.

Get massive

The more muscle the better, as, from a science nerd perspective, your muscles require a massive amount of energy to function (upwards of 60% of your total daily calorie expenditure) and hence your body will turn into a fat burning furnace if you add some muscle to your frame. The fat burning is a nice side effect.

Add some glue to ya meal

That didn’t make sense, but supplementing an amino acid called glutamine definitely does. Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of glutamine supplementation on immunity and also muscle repair, so add a teaspoon to your post workout shake and you’ll be firing on all fronts.

Catch ‘em zees

Sleep is extremely important for so many bodily functions and building strong immunity is a major one. Furthermore stimulants that keep you awake such as caffeine have been shown to lower immunity, so probably best to steer clear as much as you can and look to improve your time in dreamland instead.

Get Busy

Now this is actually based on no scientific nor pseudoscientific fact or fiction. It is merely my own theory. I believe that getting sick is in part due to boredom. Now before you call me crazy think about the last time that you were heavily involved with a project, or even just general life matters. Do you recall getting sick?

So there it is heed my advice and I promise that if you go Greek island hopping during the summer you will not catch a cold. Actually, that can be the number one tip.