How to double your training progress – by not getting sick

You can naturally strengthen your immune system. Colds, infections and annoying viruses are not at the mercy of you. You can make your defenses as strong as Fort Knox.

That’s what this article is about:

  • What we can learn about health from baseball pros
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about the “perfect plan”, but about your health
  • 3 habits, that give your immune system superpowers – even when everyone else is sick

Let’s go.

What we can learn about health from baseball pros

Immunsystem natürlich stärken

Time jump to the year 2011.

At that time, a research group led by the physician Matthew Posner published an interesting study.

It’s about the injury rate among professional baseball players between 2006 and 2008.

The test subjects are the players of “Major League Baseball”, i.e. all professionals at the federal level. 1

The researchers group the injuries according to body regions: Are the shoulders, elbows, hamstrings, lower back, hands or wrists injured? Were there any other injuries?

Injuries are not uncommon for professionals whose job it is to train to the absolute limit for many years. That goes for every sport.

What surprises me about the study is something else:

1.1% of the “violations” are

Only 1.1 percent! Very little, right?

After all, even professionals are not immune to the typical: colds, infections, food poisoning, etc.

That means they almost never get sick?

Obviously. But appearance is deceptive. Because if you take a closer look, you notice:

Most cases of illness simply fell through the cracks.

Because the researchers only considered players who were officially reported “injured”.

And that only happens if a player is absent for AT LEAST 15 days for health reasons.

I don’t know how you are, but I’ve never been so sick that I couldn’t work for 15 days.

Not even as a child …

… the thought of hearing my Benjamin Blümchen tapes for the 17th time was probably just too bad for me.

Yes, yes. Okay, I’m digressing …

There are surprisingly few studies on standard diseases in athletes.

So colds,
Flu, food poisoning, gastrointestinal stories and so on.

Perhaps that’s because the professionals often have to be on the pitch during the season.

In any case, I’ve heard of some stories in which athletes had to worship the porcelain god at halftime – or went to the field despite having a flu.

I hope these are exceptions rather than the rule.

Why you shouldn’t worry about the “perfect plan”, but about your health

Wie Du Deine Trainingsfortschritte verdoppelst – indem Du nicht krank wirst

In any case, we hobby athletes can be grateful that we can put our health at number 1.

Anyone who is sick should first of all
Put your energy on getting well again.

It is best not to get sick in the first place.

Because the simple rule is:

Those who are healthy longer do better in training

A look at the statistics shows: On average, Germans catch cold three times a year and report sick for almost a whole month. 2

I think that’s pretty heavy.

Especially when you consider what you can achieve in just one month of strength training. Or cardio, if you are primarily an endurance athlete.

Because that applies to everyone

Regularity is that
greatest success factors in training.

And the greatest enemies
the regularity are – yep – diseases. (Apart from the fact that
Being sick is crap per se.)

Hence – and
of course, to keep you updated regularly with practical
To be able to provide help – staying healthy is something for me
pretty high priority.

The point
is, even if your surroundings sniff and cough:

You can do something to stay healthy and fit

Specifically, there are three factors that you can all influence yourself.

3 things that naturally strengthen your immune system – even when everyone else is sick

1. Sleep quality

Wie Du Deine Trainingsfortschritte verdoppelst – indem Du nicht krank wirst

Let’s do an experiment: do without something you really love for three days.

Then you give up sleeping for three days.

You will probably find out: What you really love is … healthy sleep.

If I catch a cold, then know
I what it is.

Sure I could now
say: The bad cold viruses are to blame. But if i’m honest
I know:

I’m responsible for it myself.

The nights before were almost always too short and I just ignored the tiredness with additional espresso shots.

Here’s an easy way to really flatten your immune system: Just break your night’s sleep a few hours earlier.


Sleep has become a priority for me. Which, admittedly, wasn’t always the case.

I love the feeling of being well rested and starting the day with power.

I try to sleep at least 7 hours a night.

Tracking my sleep duration helps me with this.

It’s like so often with tracking: Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve been getting better every year:

  • In 2017 it was an average of 7h 8m,
  • at least 7h 17m in 2018 and
  • this year I am (so far) at 7h 38m per night.

Ever since I prioritized sleep, this has changed
changed a lot for me for the better.

I feel stronger (and I am making good progress in training), I am more balanced and, last but not least, it is easy for me to maintain my body fat percentage – even during the uncomfortable season.

What you measure, you control.

This also applies to your sleep.

2. Permanent stress


By “stress” each of us probably understands something different. I can work 14 hours without feeling stressed.

But give me a firm “nine to five” work-time corset or (in my eyes) pointless appointments and my cortisol level shoots up.

Long work is not an issue for me as long as I can live out my need for freedom. It’s different with other people – they don’t need so much freedom, but a lot of structure and security.

One thing prevails
however agreement:

Training is stress.

If you don’t stress your body while exercising, it has no reason to get faster, stronger and better.

This is why regeneration is so important.

If you want to stay healthy, you should give your body the time to do so.

Those who give full throttle every day not only overwhelm their immune system. He also slips into overtraining more easily.

By the way, you can track your muscle regeneration .

If you are not sure whether you are giving yourself enough time to regenerate, you should do so for a while.

3. Eating habits

Wie Du Deine Trainingsfortschritte verdoppelst – indem Du nicht krank wirst

Whole books can be written about “proper nutrition” (for example this one).

The same goes for food supplements for a strong immune system (you can find a summary of the basics in my guide).

There are four here
Food habits that help me stay healthy:

  • drink enough water (3-4 liters a day),
  • adequate calorie intake (70-80% of the daily requirement as a minimum),
  • healthy fats (DHA / I add EPA as fish oil capsules, but fatty fish is also possible),
  • a lot of vegetables and some fruit every day (10 servings a day).

I’m also a big fan of high-quality fruit and vegetable concentrates.

I’ve started my day every morning with a large glass of Athletic Greens for many years. I like it and it contains a bit of everything.

Today we know that micronutrients do not have their health effects in isolation, but only develop in combination. That is the advantage of such concentrates.

None of this is rocket science, so I recommend that you keep it simple. Anyway, I’ve been using it well for many years.


Whether you stay healthy,
is mainly related to the following question:

How well are you able to counter your body
Defend stressors?

During sleep and the
Diet is about increasing your stress tolerance. Thereby
you become more resilient. The third factor is the stress itself that you are in
Want to have a grip.

To stay in good health, you should have all three factors in mind.


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