Sore throat? Achy Muscles? Headaches? Runny Nose? Chesty Cough? Wondering if you should brave the symptoms and continue your workout? We are here to answer your questions fam!
#1 rule: Have you done the “above the neck test”?
If your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough or sneezing then you should be fine to continue your normal exercise regime. However, if your symptoms are below the neck ie: chest congestion, muscle aches, upset stomach, etc. then you need to rest and cut down on your exercise.
But I am in the midst of a strict nutrition and training program! HELP
Unfortunately, unless you are superhuman there is nothing you can do to avoid getting sick. Most of the time, it is your body telling you that you need to bring it down a level and rest and recover. And sometimes it is just a virus that is going around that you simply cannot escape.
There are ways to ensure you do not fall far from your strict nutrition and training program. If your symptoms are above the neck then you should be fine to continue with your normal training regime but reduce your effort to 50 percent of your normal capacity for a couple of days. Example: Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes instead of running or allow yourself more time or less repetitions for your training session – especially if you are doing any high intensity circuits.
If you are sick with the flu / virus then you must stop any exertion what-so-ever. The flu brings on fatigue and working out will only prolong your illness. Ensure you get to bed early and get extra sleep, drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol, eat wholesome foods (vedgie soups are a major key to recovery) & try to heel yourself naturally (see our 5 best natural home remedies below).
Don’t forget that you are also highly contagious the first five to seven days. Rest allows your immune system to recover plus you don’t want to be that fool who leaves your snotty trail on every crevice of the gym!
When should I resume my regular exercise routine once recovered?
Listen to your body. Colds typically last for a week – 10 days however, depending on the illness you have and your immune system it may take up to 2 weeks. Not resting or listening to your body will prolong your illness even longer!
Once recovered, still don’t go 100% with your workout for at least the first 3 or 4 days. Start at 70% of your normal workout (for both cardio and weights) and increase gradually for the first week or so. If you try to go back too soon you may have a prolonged recovery phase and you may also be a little short of breath if you are recovering from respiratory infection.
* Interesting Fact: In a study at the University of South Carolina, adults who exercised regularly and moderately caught twenty percent fewer upper respiratory tract infections.
Although it is true that exercising moderately and regularily is a scientifically proven immunity booster and will help you avoid getting sick in the first place. Keep in mind that intense and vigorous exercise can also increase your susceptibility to being sick.
All in all, you should exercise regularly to boost our immunity in order to avoid getting sick and when you are sick you should rest your body to boost our immunity.
We are all about that #antidotelife. So we are going to share our 5 hot tips for natural home heeling while sick.
I have always been very prone to fatigue, virus’ and flus and I put it down to my fast paced lifestyle and busy / stressful schedule… so I would say I am like a human yoda when it comes to remedies. I have tried them all! And TRUST ME – these will get you from 0 to 100 REAL QUICK.
#1 – Kaila’s “Fully Sick” Tea
- Good quality organic echinacea syrum or alternatively tea leaves / bags (ensure they are organic)
- 3 or 4 thin slices of fresh organic ginger root
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons raw organic honey
- ½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon organic ground clove
- Cayenne pepper & Turmeric to taste
- In a large cup of hot filtered water, steep the tea bag and the sliced ginger (you may omit the tea bag if you’d like).
- Add the lemon juice, honey and spices and stir well. The tea will be cloudy.
- If you’d like, you may strain the tea through cheesecloth to remove the ground spices and ginger. At our house, we just drink it as is.
Drink this bad boy as many times as you can throughout the day especially when you wake up and about 30 minutes before bed. The major key to success here is the echinacea. Echinacea is a natural herb traditionally used as a cold and flu remedy. Its effectiveness has been shown to increase white blood cells… which helps your immune system fight off germs. So load yourself up with the stuff!
Virus’ THRIVE on dry climate. Breathing in steam helps to ease nasal congestion and sore throat pain. If your symptoms are above the neck the hit your gym steam room 2 x a day if possible. If symptoms are below the neck then invest in a humidifier / vaporizer and have it on while you netflix & chill. I would strongly suggest investing in some Eucalyptus and/or Peppermint essential oils to heel and Frankincense at night to help you sleep.
Hot tip: (pun intended) Alternatively, after your shower you can also crank it to the hottest possible temperature and stand in your shower for as long as you can handle (recomended 5 mins minimum).
OR bring a pot of water to a boil, pour it into a bowl and add a drop or two of peppermint or eucalyptus oil, drape a towel over your head and lean over the water to block the steam from escaping. Breath deeply through your nose for 2-5 minutes.
#3 Salt & Honey
Gargling salt water helps get rid of the mucus that can collect at the back of the throat, especially after you’ve been sleeping or lying down. Spoonfuls of honey are not only delicious but also a natural antibacterial.
#4 Rancho Relaxo
Try to rest as much as possible. Sloth out on the couch and watch your favourite series back to back, sleep and nap as much as possible, get rugged up and call in some TLC from your friends and family. Make them your slaves and ride that illness train for as long as you can!
#5 Stick to soups
Not that you will have much of an appetite anyway but when you are sick you must try not to feel too sorry for yourself and indulge in every bad food in site. The best thing you can do is revert back to the “caveman diet” and only ingest wholesome, organic and natural foods.
WHAT TO AVOID
Sugary Foods: Sugar prevents your body from fighting off the bacteria that is causing your flu symptoms.
Milk & Dairy Products: Milk, yogurts and cheese can cause the mucus in your lungs and sinuses to stick around longer, which may cause you to experience symptoms for a longer period of time.
Meat: Eating a vegetarian diet while you have the flu and for a few days after you get better is one way to potentially shorten your chance of illness and reduce your symptoms. The reason being is that animal fats hinder your body’s ability to get rid of the germs causing the flu… which could cause you to experience the symptoms longer and more severe.
Vedgie soups will be your vice! Thank us later.
Article written by Kaila Carroso / Marketing & Social Media Manager for Muscle Republic