Friday, October 3, 2014

Exercising When Sick

Don't you just love the fall season? Here in northeast Ohio, it's absolutely beautiful! The trees look like they're on fire, the air is crisp, and everything smells and tastes like pumpkin (and apple)! Sadly, it's also known as "sick season."

What do you do with your workout routine when you’re sick? I’ve heard it said that working out when you’re sick can be beneficial at times because it can boost your immune system. But how do you know when you’re too sick?

I had to battle a sinus infection for the past four days, but now I’m finally cleared up (for the most part)! I was unable to sleep properly for the first two nights and so was exhausted and fatigued for those days, so there was no way I was going to get through a workout.

By my second day of not working out I felt pretty bad. I wanted to try to get some physical activity done, but after walking across my college campus twice, I realized that I was not up for anything strenuous. Also, when my mom was sick a couple weeks ago she tried working out at the Y and came home feeling even worse.

So what’s the solution here? Working out is healthy for you and can boost your immune system, and, being a workout-junkie, my body feels bad after about two days of not exercising. However, if you’re too sick, working out can make you feel even worse.

Image from Kings William Natural Health Care Website.
 Research told me that if your symptoms are from the neck up (including sore throat, stuffy nose, and other sinus stuff), you should be okay as long as you don’t push yourself too far, and if your symptoms extend below the neck (including cough, body aches, and fatigue), you’re better off staying off your feet. (I'm not citing anything because practically every website I went to said the same thing!)

Well, the first two days I mostly had sinus issues with a little bit of a cough, but I was too fatigued to exercise. Now that my sinuses have cleared up, I feel much more energized but I still have a bit of a cough. This will be day four without exercise and I think I’m going to go insane.

As it turns out, sometimes working out is not the best thing you can do for your body. If you’re feeling bad about missing a workout because you’re sick, don’t be! Your body needs time to recover. If you push it too far too fast, it might take you even longer to heal. Remember: it’s not just about being fit; it’s also about being healthy.

So if you’re battling some sort of virus like I am, take it easy for a couple days. Take in as much vitamin C as you can, along with other vitamins like D, and drink so much tea that you begin to feel like you’re a fish from all the liquid. And if you don’t seem to be getting better after a couple days, you might want to stop in and see your doctor.

Stay well, everyone! The sick season can’t last forever…


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