Written by: Kayte Corrigan
Even the most finely tuned instrument can sound a little off at times. You eat right, getting all your nutrients, pumping up on essential vitamins, yet every now and again you manage to catch a cold or worse, the flu.
During cold and flu season this year think twice before you head to class. You can actually keep your bug around longer if you try to “sweat it out” at the onset or the height of illness. You body recovers from a virus just like it recovers from a workout. When you put them together you are working overtime in both recovery sectors. It’s essentially overtraining and something is going to suffer. Give your body the benefit of working on one thing at a time and take a day off from working out.
While you are sitting this one out, aim for a clean diet free of caffeine, sugar, and processed foods while ramping up vitamin C and Zinc. Lots of fruits and vegetables will help flush the virus away.
Above or Below the Neck is a good rule of thumb to decide if training would be a benefit as you start to feel better. If it’s “above the neck” or a nose/throat/ear issue, once you’re past the worst of it, moderate exercise is approved. No heaving training, lifting, high impact or extreme cardio. Yoga and light Pilates should feel great. “Below the neck” or cough/chest/stomach/fever/body aches and you should stay down until those symptoms subside. You could prolong your recovery if you start too soon. Everyone knows how a lingering cough can put you out for much longer than necessary.
Listen to your body. It will tell you what it wants. If you ignore it, it will force upon you what it needs. Train smarter.