As we finally start to move in to Spring we also move straight into cold and flu season. With all kinds of contagions going around I thought I’d give some general guidelines I think are good to keep in mind when we’re feeling under the weather. For the most part some things are obvious, but there are aspects that tend to be forgotten.
Of course how sick you are is gonna be the main thing to determine if you should be doing any kind of exercise. If you’re any kind of “stomach” sick, let’s call it, then obviously don’t try and do anything. The next thing to remember is that if you’re going to be near other people while you workout then make sure you aren’t contagious at all. People go to the gym to have an hour out of their day where they can just workout and not worry about anything going on that day. So, they don’t need to be concerned about catching something.
Dealing with something like the common cold or a case of the sniffles gives us some leeway. Something mild can definitely still allow us to train, but you need to know why you’re still wanting to try and workout. If it’s because you don’t want to miss a day cause you think you might lose all your progress then I’d actually advise not doing anything. When you’re sick your body is already working hard to try and make you feel better, so you’re not going to be able to perform at your highest capacity. This will probably lead to more frustration, and putting the extra stress on your body will likely keep you sick for longer. That said, a good sweat can help you clear some of that gunky congestion out.
If you know you’re just looking to flush stuff out then it’s about picking the right stuff to do at the right effort. Since your body is in a compromised state then staying away from any kind of loading and complex movements is important. Things fire strange when we’re sick so you could move different than usual and injure something. Weights also tend to feel much heavier, and will lead back to that frustration. Keeping it simple is the best way to go about it. Rowing mixed with a simple gymnastics movement or two, like burpees and sit ups, can easily get the heart rate and body temperature up a little to sweat stuff out. It’s easy to want to push the pace when things look simple too, but you don’t need to be laying on the floor after a workout for it to be effective.