There is a love-hate relationship with the idea of taking time off your workout if you’re sick.
On one level, you don’t want to lose your momentum and you definitely don’t want to lose your muscle mass.
On another level… let’s face it, we all want a break sometimes. Health psychologists can sometimes even trace athlete illness to coming from a desire to take a few days off without any guilt.
This article is written for people that want to not only keep their fitness gains… but also want to get out of the sick condition as soon as possible so they can train for real. This will mean that these workouts are going to be easier… and secondly… that they will help your body heal at an accelerated rate.
Note that if you’re sick, you have to be cognizant of not infecting other members of your gym or fitness center. Part of making fitness a powerful part of your life is showing respect for your body, your temple (the gym), and your community (fellow gym junkies). If you’re sneezing or breaking into cold sweats, just do these at home using YouTube videos or DVD’s. Always err on being over-considerate with these exercises.
Yoga is an extremely powerful fitness activity for many reasons.
If you’ve done even a single yoga class, you’re no doubt familiar with upward facing dog and downward facing dog.
Now, if you’ve ever owned a dog you’ve seen they do the same thing… that upward and downward stretch (hence the yoga names). This is one very good reason why animals don’t need chiropractors or get sick like humans do. They’re in touch with their natural “maintenance” movements that cleanse their organs and refresh their muscle and skeletal systems.
Yoga is a way for us to do this ourselves under a guiding teacher. Your stretches will increase circulation, your twists will push out toxins, and your sweat will help you excrete those floating toxins out of your system. You also get the added benefit of simply relieving stress from your mind and body. A lot of tension gets caught up in the muscles which weights us down over time and yoga helps release that.
There are plenty of videos online for you to do a light yoga workout… and if you feel well enough to go to a class, make sure you go easy and use the lighter “modifications.” You’re in competition with no one, not even your healthier self.
#2 Very Light Aerobics
This is the one of the best things you can do when you’re stuck in the house. This is where you really have to set aside your ego for the moment and do some exercises that, well… Richard Simmons would be proud of.
Just go to any YouTube Channel and look for some recorded aerobics lessons. If the recording shows a full class of people… then the more out-of-shape the audience looks, the better.
This is something you can do for 15-20 minutes just to get your circulation flowing and bad chemicals moving out of your system. Do just enough to be sweating and feel like your blood is moving.
If you normally do home aerobic workouts like Insanity, then take that workout and divide it by 100 in intensity. Even just half the warm-up at half the pace enough should be all you need.
#3 Just Jog Outside
Yes, this is a truism, but many of the best things you can do for your body when sick are kind of boring.
The advantage you get from jogging outside is beyond just getting some aerobic exercise.
You’re getting out into the sun which will help you quite a bit psychologically as well as physically. The sun will not only give you Vitamin D but wake your body up, giving it some healthy light beyond what’s on your TV screen or through your windows.
Plus, the act of putting on your track shoes, getting your gear on, and running sends a very powerful message to your brain, “I’m still in control.” That attitude sends endorphins, reduces stress-related cortisol, and will most definitely speed up your recovery.
Just lightly jog around for about ten to fifteen minutes and then stretch. You do not want to be sprinting or doing any type of high-intensity interval training.
One thing to keep in mind is that you are under no requirements to do any of the above if you just feel awful. Sometimes all you need is pure rest, especially if you have something like a chest cold, severe flu, or bronchitis. Also, if you have anything wrong with your stomach, then doing anything but very light stretching could exacerbate the situation.
Also, make sure if you do any workout that you rejuvenate yourself with plenty of water and supplementation if possible. A dissolving Vitamin-C supplement like Emergen-C contains electrolytes and is great to have in water following any exercise when you’re not feeling at your best.
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