Working Out When Sick

 

Well, it happened. After flying, driving, being on a cruise ship and out of town for a week, I have come down with a cold. I started feeling “yucky” Tuesday but forced myself to the gym anyway, where I felt awful and really didn’t want to be there. Usually when this happens, once I get going I am ok, but not this time. Then, this morning I woke up congested, with a pounding headache, and couldn’t taste anything. As hard as I try to stay germ free, they somehow found me and attacked.

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Ah, boat, I guess being cooped up on you helped spread the germ love.

I am slightly frustrated because as it is I  missed my long run last weekend being out of town…and I have a half marathon coming up. Not cool. I decided to take the day off from exercise, which led me to think about working out and being sick, and if it’s ok or not, how much, etc.

There are a lot of factors that come into play, for instance the fact that I am training for a half marathon. If I wasn’t training for anything, I would be content to work from the couch and not worry about my missed sweat sessions. But with 18 days until my race and only a 6 miler under my belt since RnR New Orleans, I really need to get my rear in gear.

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me and the lovely Karen at the RnR NOLA expo.

Here are a few simple rules I personally follow. Please remember, I am not a doctor, although that would be cool, right?

1.) If it’s in your chest, stay in bed. Going into a coughing fit every 24 seconds is not cool for you, or the people around you at the gym. If your cold is in your chest, it is better to rest to fight another day.

2.) If you have a fever, cool it. (no pun intended…well…maybe a little.) You don’t want to raise your internal body temp any higher than it already is, or you could get sicker.

3.) Do what you can. Pretty simple right? If you feel ok to go for a walk, but not a run, don’t try for a sprint workout. Even just a little bit of exercising might help you feel more accomplished and maybe even better, but don’t push yourself too hard.

4.) Listen to your body! It’s better to take a break so that you get well soon if you have something like the flu. Prolonging your symptoms and sidelining yourself longer is no fun.

5.) If it is in your head, and not your chest, but you just don’t feel like working out anyway…that’s ok!!! My cold is in my head, but guess what? I decided to just chill today and try again tomorrow. I don’t feel guilty about it, I know I need to rest and re-energize my body so I can be back to 100% as soon as possible.

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Tips for lessening your cold symptoms:

1.) drink Emergen-c

2.) Drink lots of water

3.) rest when you need to do so

4.) take your vitamins

5.) wash your hands to help keep family members well

I want to elaborate a bit on number 2. The kind folks at zero water provided me with a filtered water pitcher to try out, and I absolutely love it. We drink a lot of water at our house, but I hate how even the “filtered” water out of the refrigerator doesn’t really truly purify the water. A lot of toxins enter your body via the water we bathe in and the water we drink, so I was really excited to try out the filter and I love it. it’s easy to use and the water “tastes” great. be sure to check out their website and Facebook page if you are interested in purchasing a filter.

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QOTD: What are your rules for working out when sick?  Do you drink filtered water?