Should you exercise or should you take some time off from your fave fitness fix?
Well, the answer won’t be the same for everyone, but some general guidelines can help you make a good decision.
In the case of general illnesses, getting sick sure can put a kink in your regular workout schedule. However, you might not have to totally shelve your workouts.
– use the “above the neck” rule. If your symptoms are in your head, such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, or you have a sore throat, then you can usually continue to exercise. If your symptoms are below the neck, including chest congestion, hacking cough, or upset stomach, then it’s probably best to hold-off on your workout.
– be vigilant about your hydration. If you are dehydrated, from vomiting or diarrhea, exercise can make your illness worse. As well, exercising while insufficiently hydrated or fueled (nourished) can put extra strain on your kidneys or other vital organs.
– allow recovery time. Minor colds can linger for awhile. Try lighter exercises, such as stretching, recovery yoga or low intensity cardio, until your body is stronger and ready for more challenging activities.
When you’ve got an injury it can be difficult to rest it, particularly if you’re in a workout groove and seeing results. Always have your doctor check your injury and allow your body time to heal.
–never work through the pain. Follow your doctor’s advice. Ask a physiotherapist what exercises you can do, or consult an experienced personal trainer. Stick to their good advice.
– seek exercise options or alternatives. If you have an injury in your lower body, try upper body exercises. A change in impact may be helpful; perhaps swimming is an endurance option or aquafitness is suited to your temporary needs.
– adjust your diet. If you’re concerned about weight gain during your hiatus from regular exercise, take some time to evaluate your daily nutritional intake. Focus on healthy eating, and you may just recover more quickly.
Autoimmune disorders can put your fitness on hold for a lot longer than a minor injury or illness. Recent research has shown exercise is helpful for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
– go easy. Try activities such as yoga, stretching, or light weight training to increase flexibility, range of motion, and increased muscle strength.
– just move. Any type of movement can help minimize joint stiffness. Whether that movement is in water or on dry land, fast-paced or slow, hopping or low-impact, you will gain benefits from the simple act of moving your body.
– pay attention. Take note of how different exercises affect your levels of fatigue and pain. Keep written records and show your doctor, who can help you determine the type of exercise that is best for you.