You wake in the early hours of the morning ready for your PT session, but quickly realise the stress of the previous, and extremely hectic day, has left you susceptible to that nasty cold or flu making its way around your office and now you too are sick! Your dilemma… Do you go to gym for your session or stay in bed?
Now this is a decision faced by many gym-goers at some point in their life and my professional advice on how to make the right choice when in this unfortunate predicament.
Firstly, you need to ascertain what illness you think/know you have. If it is a common cold with a cough, runny nose, headache and sore throat, you should be perfectly fine to train if you feel up to the challenge. On the other hand if it is tonsillitis or any other ailment that causes fever and nasty infections you need to stay in bed and rest as you do not want to increase you internal body temperature and make yourself any worse.
Secondly, you need to listen to your body, really listen to it! If you are unwell, but still able to exercise, consider training lighter. Consider changing that H.I.I.T workout to a steady row or move your leg work out to another day and just do upper-body, be kind and gentle with yourself. Remember, your progress won’t slip and your body will thank you for the rest if you are simply too sick to train.
Thirdly, if you decide you are well enough to train, use my Rate of Perceived Feeling (RPF) before and during your session. To give yourself a RPF simply rate the way you feel out of 10 (honestly) before starting the session: A score of 10 denoting “I should be in bed”, whilst one denoting “I feel 100%!” So you score 5 as you only have a cold. During your session, repeat this process a few times. If at any point your score drops below 5 it’s home time, No excuses! By using this simple system, it will allow you to gauge how much you can do when training sick and may well prevent you overdoing it and losing more time in the gym.
Fourthly, if you are able to work out when sick please be considerate to other gym goers. As you may be aware, training supresses the immune system a little during our session and makes us more susceptible to germs. Please cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, use anti-bacterial wipes to clean your sweat from the equipment you touch, throw any tissues you use in the bin and keep your distance (where possible) from other patrons. This will help the spread of germs and mutated colds and flu’s returning over and over.
Hopefully this post helps you when you are faced with this inevitable dilemma and you make an informed decision. Always remember that rest is as good as a work out sometimes and honesty (especially with us) is vital in maintenance of good health.
Below is a recipe, given to me by a client and very good friend, to help banish that nasty cold or flu quick smart!
FLU FIGHTER BREW
6 cups water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic – peeled and bruised
3 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ tsp cayenne
3 bags green tea or peppermint tea bags
½ cup coffee
Place all ingredients except honey into a pot with water and bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 mins or until ½ the liquid has evaporated (brew).
Take off the heat and add the honey to the mixture and drink warm.
Can be reheated