To workout or not to, with a cold. That is the question!
I have questioned this too, to run or not with a cold. To lift or not with a cold. To do yoga or not with a cold... and so on, you get the picture. When do you "take a rest day" for a cold and when do you "push through it"
I have been recently hit by a cold and wondered this too, until I went out for my run. See I believe, in my head I was WAY sicker than I actually was. It's funny to actually do a reality check on ourselves when we are sick. How sick are we actually!? Because I know at 7am this morning, I was thinking I needed to rest most of the day, maybe need to go out and buy chicken noodle soup and drink lemon honey water all day. Maybe throw a full blown sickness pity party!
BUT... After my run and my day 2 challenge I was better than I started. Yes the first km wasn't pretty, I was coughing, spitting, blowing my nose but... all that movement was healthy as it got it all out of ME!
So, how do you know when to push past and when to not?
Here is a guideline I like to use to overcome the question:
1. Do a reality check with yourself. How sick are your physically and how much have you made up in your head. Is it just a runny nose? Well I'm sure you can stop your workout to blow your nose and it won't ruin your workout! Are you using this as an excuse? That usually HITS home!
2. Is this tummy troubles, if so are you able to make your workout close to home? Or do you know the bathrooms along the route? Again, stopping won't ruin your workout.
3. How long has it been going on? This usually can be an indication if its not just something viral and may need more time to rest. In this case, rest would be the better option.
4. Do you have a fever? Again, indication that there's an infection going on, REST.
5. Accept that it may not be your best workout but it's a workout. And that counts for A LOT!!
Now, when you DO exercise with a cold I'd love for you to write down these little helpful tips on how to help your body post workout too.
1. Drink more electrolytes! Usually I only suggest electrolytes when you do physical activity over 40-60 mins but here, no matter what you do, DRINK your electrolytes. Replace and refuel.
2. EAT VITAMIN C like it's the cool thing to do, because when you are sick IT IS! Did you know that vitamin C is digested and used within 2-4 hours on a regular healthy day? This means when you are sick it can be used up with in 1-2 hours. Have vitamin C tablets 1-2 hours or include a fruit or veg high in vitamin C at every meal (snacks too!).
3. Stretch more, your body may be holding onto tightness with the stress it could be under from being sick. Give yourself an extra few minutes for more stretching and holding for longer in each stretch. Breathe through the stretches and think about delivering the oxygen to the muscle being stretched.
I know being sick sucks but know what, NOT working out also sucks! Try to find a solution, try to listen to your body and see where the sickness and pain lie. And push through. I was told by a soccer coach when I was sick I had two options, sweat it out on the field or have a shot of Brandy, wrap myself up in blankets, then sweat it out.... well at 19yrs old I wasn't a fan of Brandy so I decided to run harder on the field and sweat it out.