I floated in past the welcome desk towards the cardio room, trying to remember if I brushed my teeth this morning, the metallic taste and druggy haze made it hard to clearly recall the last 30 minutes of my life since I fell out of bed. Golly, I know I’ve been going hard this last week but I feel like I was hit by a Hummer.
Oh no. *sneeze* I think I’m *sputter* getting sick.
For many people and at many times in my life, the days following a situation like this would involve a dopey blur of binge watching the Bachelorette, crusty pajamas, and a snowbank of snotty tissues.
But what about when you’ve been KILLING IT in the gym, crushing your goals, and you can’t stand the idea of sitting around letting your gains dissolve like a lemon cough drop while you achingly think about those dumbbells calling your name?
Well, there’s some good news. Just because you’re sick or getting sick doesn’t always mean you have to skip the gym for a week while you drown your snotty sorrows in NyQuil and chicken broth.
Lets analyze WHY you’re getting sick? Have you been eating junk food for a month? Stressed out at work? Disrespecting your sleep needs? Hanging out in hospitals?
Unfortunately, you may have healthy habits and a dialed in diet/sleep/vitamin regimen and STILL get sick. But one of the first things to do is check and see if there’s anything you can tweak to prevent this from happening again.
Most likely, you’re too busy and your immune system is worn down. If part of this is because you’re in the gym doing two-a-days every day of the week, you’re probably going to want to back off your exercising to give your body a break. However this doesn’t mean you have to cut everything out for the entirety of your sneezefest.
SECOND OFF, DEF NOT
If you have a fever. Or Diarrhea. Or Vomiting. Do not train.
ABOVE THE NECK
HOWEVER, If your symptoms are “Above the neck” i.e.: a runny nose, sneezing, cold or upper respiratory sort of situation, you’re probably fine to keep rolling with your fitness activity participation. In fact, according this study you may even recover faster if you keep active instead of allowing yourself to melt into the couch cushions for two weeks.
You probably won’t need to change your routine drastically but I’d recommend going easy on yourself and listening to your body. Now is probably not the time to hit a 1RM or experiment with 8 new kinds of HIIT. Just get in there and do some work, with a reduction in intensity from your normal training.
When you go for your “sick workout (bro)”, make sure you follow your normal healthy precautions for exercise to a T. Drink your water, keep your diet dialed in, get enough rest, and WASH YOUR HANDS! You don’t want to share whatever you’re fighting with anyone else.
Keeping your exercise routine when you’re sick can help you mentally and physically depending on what you’re fighting. But use common sense, and keep others in mind. Wash your hands, wipe down the equipment, cover your mouth. No one wants you sneezing all over the barbells.
Now get out there.