How to Recover Faster When Sick
I was kind of dreading doing this workout, but once I started I quickly got into it and it ended up being really fun. At the end I felt so energized, and not tired or worn out like I feared I might. This is the beauty of short, high intensity workouts. When you put effort forth for a short period of time, you gain a huge burst of energy as a reward. If you work really hard, you don't have to work out for as long as is often necessary at lower intensities. Short and sweet is the key. Try this fun new workout with me...
10 minute ladder challenge of:
2 pistol squats and 10 burpees
4 pistol squats and 9 burpees
6 pistol squats and 8 burpees
8 pistol squats and 7 burpees
10 pistol squats and 6 burpees
12 pistol squats and 5 burpees
You can modify the pistol squats however you need and feel most comfortable, but definitely still try this workout. I couldn't always do them either, I modified for a long time. You have to practice to get there, and they're really fun and worth working on.
My allergies have been particularly brutal the past few days, but just like when I have a cold, I feel better after working out. While I'm exercising I can breathe so much more easily through my nose because the blood is rushing to my muscles instead of pooling around my nose and aggravating my congestion. This lasts for a fair amount of time after you're finished working out too. It's important not to stop working out when you get sick, unless you have a high fever, are too sick to your stomach, or have difficulty breathing from severe chest congestion; otherwise you can still do a lower intensity workout. You definitely don't need to push it to the max in a workout when you're sick, you can go a little slower or do more basic exercises, but moving around some does your body better than lying around all day. I know that's all you feel like doing when sick, I'm in the same boat, but I feel better after working out, and I recover twice as quickly from a cold when I keep to my exercise schedule. One of the last times I was sick, I barely worked out and it took me over a week to recover and I had lingering symptoms for a ridiculous amount of time after. Never again. I'd rather suck it up, move around for even just 15 minutes a day and get better in 3-4 days and have no lingering symptoms. Give a little and you get a lot in return in this case.
Not eating sugary junk food is also imperative when sick, that too slows your healing way down. Excess sugar feeds only bad things in your body like cancer cells, viruses, infections, and fat cells. They use it up and nourish themselves to grow and get stronger, keeping you sick or making you sicker. Excess sugar also taxes the pancreas, and after too much abuse it can grow tired and not be able to properly release insulin anymore. This is type 2 diabetes, and this is a problem because when there isn't enough insulin released, the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream remains elevated for extended periods of time, causing damage to blood vessels and organs. If blood sugar levels remain out of control for many years this often results in heart disease. Sugar aids in plaque formation along blood vessel walls and arteries, and as plaque continues to accumulate it can create partial or even total blockages, and we know what happens then: heart attack (or stroke). Your blood wants to be clean and pure. Anything you eat or drink ends up in some part in your blood. Your organs extract the nutrients they can use and the filtering organs work to clear everything else out of your blood and body, but when concentrations of sugar are just too high for too long a period of time, the pancreas gets tired, and other filtering organs start picking up some of the slack, and they're not used to it or supposed to be, so they get tired from doing twice the work they're used to, and this continues on down a not great path.
The best solution is to go easy on added sugars; that is anything in a package that has sugar added to it, or anything that you make and add sugar to. Less than 25 grams of sugar a day is what's recommended for women and less than 35 grams a day for men. Men always have the higher allowances because they're expected to be generally larger framed than women, but if you're a dude that's on the smaller side, maybe stick closer to the 25. And this isn't a number you should strive to hit, this is the maximum amount you can have in a day, you should try to eat much less than this. It can be tough, I know, but start paying a little more attention to those nutrition panels. Just try to be a little more aware, sugar hides in the most unlikely places so really check everything! Also, fruit doesn't count towards the daily allotment of sugar, but this doesn't mean go crazy and eat 20 servings a day. Fruits have a myriad of beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but they do still contain fructose (a simple sugar) and even too much fruit can potentially be a bad thing. I wouldn't worry too much about that though, as long as you're eating lots of vegetables too you're doing a great job. If not, it's never too late to start. Make some salad this weekend, or anything else that sounds good to you that contains vegetables. I'll hopefully even post some recipes of my own soon to inspire healthier eating; and they'll be simple, I don't like to make things complicated. But in the meantime, try out one of those healthy recipes you've had bookmarked for 3 months but haven't gotten around to trying yet, now's the time! Let me know how you muddle through colds each fall/winter and if anything different helps you get well faster.
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Crochet-loving Personal Trainer, Yogi, and Wellness Coach.
Lover of tiny animals and objects. BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Plant-based. Read More...
Glow - Personal Training + Yoga by Jacq