I haven’t been to the gym much in the last week or so. Why’s that, you ask? It’s not for a lack of ambition. I’m just a little sick. And sick of being sick. I need to get back to it! But back to being sick. Right now, I am plowing through your garden-variety coughing, sneezing and aching. Nothing too alarming, and nothing to write home or to my doctor about. ’Tis the season for cold and flu! Between me, my hard-working husband, and four mile-a-minute little girls, like any house it’s “that time of year” for feeling under the weather. So how to get over it? Whether you work out daily, are training for a competition or part of a rec league, you’re bound to get sick at some point, or sprain an ankle. We’re not talking full-blown bronchitis or broken bones here—you KNOW to be off your feet then. But what about minor illness or injury? Like me, you’re anxious to be back in action, but how do you safely do so, not sweat the small stuff, but not make things worse for yourself? I’ve been perfecting the Shefit™ Sports Bra for well over 10 years (shameless plug). That’s partly because during that time, I’ve been in serious competition, earning my pro card and training myself and my clients every single day. AND raising a family, AND running a business. I’m NOT Wonder Woman, though, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had a nasty cold. So here’s what I’ve always done to stay fit during sickness, and what I recommend for you to do:
- Follow every single piece of common-sense advice you already know! Get more rest and sleep than you think. Eat extra well (just pinned this awesome recipe for Healthy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on Pinterest) and drink plenty of fluids. You can’t eat enough fruits and veggies right now. Proper doses of Vitamin C and even echinacea, if your health care provider says that’s right for you. Don’t over exert. Common sense tells you that if you have a fever, you need to stay out of the game for now. None of this is brain surgery! But we all THINK we’re Wonder Woman, or supposed to be like her. Face it: you don’t fly an invisible jet! You’re otherwise superhuman body is telling you to slow down, so LISTEN to it!
- If you feel up to it, perform lighter, restorative exercises. Yoga is perfect for this. Stretch, even while sitting or laying down. Take progressively longer walks before getting back into race mode, and even then, go easy on the mileage at first. Make up for lost time later, not now. Lift lighter weights as you can, and go easy on reps. Sometimes, sweating it out is the best thing you can do toward the end of an illness. And, as you get back in the saddle, limit your duration in class or time on the field. Otherwise, you’ll risk sidelining yourself even longer.
- READ! Simple, right? In addition to catching up on your beauty sleep, use this downtime wisely to make use of that iPad and browse the most current trends in fitness, health and beauty. Discover healthy new recipes, research the latest in dietary supplements if that’s your thing, and soak in the newest thinking in self-improvement. Maybe this keeps you grounded, literally, and away from the gym, where you’re too tempted to return prematurely, getting yourself sicker or possibly re-injuring yourself, even spreading your germs to others. Reading, however, is resting your body but exercising your mind!