It is that time of year again! Noses run, fevers spike, the sounds of hacking fill the air. Yes, it is cold and flu season and apparently it is in full swing! As I type this I myself have viral bronchitis – has a nice ring to it huh? This little gem arrived just as I was getting back into my workout routine and eating well after the gluttony of the holidays and that really stinks because I’m on a nice little roll. So what should I do? And if you are sick, what should you do?
Most physicians and trainers will tell you that if your symptoms are “above the neck” and refer to the common cold (no fever), runny nose, nasal congestion, minor sore throat, sneezing, tearing eyes and a mild headache then it is proabably okay and even beneficial to engage in light to moderate exercise. Think low intensity here. Go for a walk, take a gentle class. But don’t go all out or you could wind up getting worse. Honor the time and intensity of your workouts – short and easy.
If your symptoms are “below the neck” – chest congestion, strong cough, heartburn, upset stomach, fever, fatigue or widespread muscles/joints/bones aches you really need to lay off. Many times we forget that exercise is a STRESSOR on your body. When your body is already stressed from sickness like this, you are adding fuel to the fire and it will likely take you longer to recover.
Finally be considerate of your fellow humans – please wipe off all equipment you touch, including the hand weights. Wash your hands frequently. When couging or sneezing try to do it into a tissue or your elbow/sleeve (eew……) rather than your hands. Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, dairy (epecially with chest congestion!) and drink up buttercup! Water and herbal tea are your friends. I’m going to make some right now!
See you in class and the studio!