TRAINING WHEN SICK – YES OR NO?
It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season is hitting its peak and claiming its victims by the handful.
It can be all too tempting to throw in the (gym) towel, so to say, and dedicate a few days to deepening the imprint on the couch/bed/floor with a blanket, heat pack and a season or three of your latest Netflix binge.
BUT just because you’ve got
the sniffles/coughs/sneezes doesn’t
mean you should give up on
your training completely.
The general rule is this: if your symptoms are above the neck (read: head congestion, runny nose), light to moderate intensity exercise is safe, and recommended. If your symptoms are below the neck (read: chest congestion, coughing, shortness of breath on very light exertion), you’re best to dose up on supplements and give your body a break.
We like to couple this with a few more suggestions: consider relative rest, and listen to your body.
It might look a little like this:
- WALKING/JOGGING: If you’re a regular runner, a light jog could help to clear congestion. If you’re not a regular runner (no judgement here), then a light walk will do the same. If your head feels heavy or headache-prone; choose to walk. Whatever you do, remember to rug up to keep warm, but don’t let the cold air keep you inside.
- STRENGTH TRAINING: take your sickness as a sign that you need rest, and dial the strength training way back. When you’re unwell, a lot of energy is expended trying to fight the virus/bacteria, and you don’t want to hinder that process.
- YOGA: if you’re not feeling too much pressure in your head, yoga can be a great way to show your body some love. It’s gentle, it works your muscles (and creates heat in the body), and it also stretches out all of those postural muscles that fatigue when we spend a long time sitting (read: the Netflix binge we discussed earlier)
- PUBLIC TRAINING: this is more about showing common courtesy. If you saw someone else with your symptoms using the gym/studio equipment and wouldn’t want to use if after them, then perhaps it’s best to sweat it out at home.
Remember, sickness is a sign that your body is run down and needs a little bit of TLC in order to keep fighting. Don’t push yourself for the sake of hitting training goals – chances are you’ll actually make your recovery longer. Check in with your motivation – if you are moving because it feels good, awesome!
** The advice given in this article is general and may not apply to you. Always check with your health care professional if you are unsure and seek medical advice when required. Our team of health professionals would love to give you a hand – call us on 5222 6868 or book online at latrobehealthcentre.com.au for an appointment in Geelong, Bannockburn or Leopold.