Yes you, as in you reading this now. I’m assuming that since you are here, you are curious how to learn some new ways to get rid of and avoid sickness aside from whatever isn’t working currently.
All is fine and dandy. Your training sessions have been consistent, your mood is vibrant at work, home and in your own space. Things are on a great streak, nothing can get in the way of your momentum.But oh no. You feel some hefty sniffles coming on…a few days later a scratchy throat…and *wham*
YOU GET SICK…AGAIN
Crap! Don’t panic, I’m sure this isn’t your first tango with a high temperature. But you may be asking yourself;
“there’s no way I can still workout”
“I don’t have the energy”
“I don’t want to spread germs”
“It will just make me even sicker!”
Well, you are right, but you are also not so right. If I told you there was a way to feel better faster and avoid being sick by including exercise into your routine, would you believe me? I mean you have worked so hard to get to this point now, a blip like this cannot be enough to derail this train headed in the positive direction. Here, let me drop some mini knowledge bombs on you before diving right in;
Regular physical activity strengthens the immune system, and can even help you fight off a sickness
You can most certainly ‘overdo it’ when you are sick, so be mindful of how and what the task is
There is a different approach to ill versus healthy training, NOT the same method
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From my Facebook Page yesterday, the temps were low and I had a low heart recovery score, so I needed an AM boost for my body and immunity. Search for these ingredients in your health food store or Amazon if you want more tools in the toolbox to upgrade your armor against external factors:
FACT: EXERCISE CAN MAKE YOU SICK
Yes, it’s true that exercise can make you sick. But, that can be extremely dependent on if you are in the right or wrong training routine for YOU. For the large majority of exercise devotee’s, the root reason is to improve your health, quality of life, and longevity. Gaining strength, mobility, visible muscles, fat loss, and speed are some potential secondary goals you obtain along the journey (not that they are any less important). For that reason, engaging in the ‘right’ types of exercise most often is a crucial component to avoiding sickness and disease;
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BRIEF VIGOROUS EXERCISE
A Tabata interval session, sprint-training, is a short time frame with high-intensity style movements. Low amounts of stress in a low-moderate frequency do not directly cause an immune-suppressing effect. but play an important role in enhancing VO2max, Heart Rate Variability, Power, and other self-quantifiable markers.
MODERATE INTENSITY EXERCISE
Brisk jogging, non-overbearing weight training or many housework chores have a great immunity boosting effect. The key here is to keep the session less than one hour to improve overall longevity. Studies have shown that consistent, recreational exercisers report fewer colds with regular aerobic training. Reason being, moderate exercise is associated with a stronger immune system.
PROLONGED VIGOROUS EXERCISE
This is where it begins to get a little hairy. Ultra-Endurance style events, or other activities that elicit a long-term elevated heart rate with hard bouts of stress can actually decrease the ability of the immune system to do its job.
An immediate takeaway? Yes, avoiding stagnant activity more than 60 minutes a day is important, but grouping all of it together in one block might not be favorable long term either.
FACTORS AFFECTING YOUR IMMUNITY
Aside from the daily scenarios specific to what you do, there are common trends that play a part in diminishing our immunity. While not all of them can be changed, it is important to be aware of what you can do to mitigate the impact they may have. Luckily, by being a Pro Coach with Precision Nutrition, we have access to use, learn, and share their amazing content! So here’s a relevant, short and sweet description for how your immune system can be compromised, feel free to save this image and share with others!
Now, if you were reading these and diagnosing yourself as if you did a WebMD search, don’t panic; these are not ultimatums. Just because they are factors does not mean they apply to every single person in the same way.
On a day to day basis, you are in total control of your Stress, Mood, and Sleep. Although it can seem tough many times, consciously trying to mitigate the bad and maximize the good emotions has a positive snowball effect on most areas of your life. Taking a segment from one of my previous posts, this excerpt is a great tool to decrease immediate stressors by simply bringing awareness to the most basic thing we do; breathe.
So simple, yet we overlook its importance far too often! There is an unmistakable difference between just breathing to live, and consciously focusing on your inhale and exhale (even describing them made me reconnect to my breath!). For starters, take 2 minutes out of your day to emphasize an extended inhale…pause…exhale…pause, and repeat. Begin with a 3-5 second inhale, 1-3 second pause, 3-5 second exhale, and repeat as your body needs. As you become more comfortable with controlling your oxygen intake, start to lengthen the breath and the pauses; your lungs need to be exercised too! This is a great way to de-stress, warm up your body during cold weather, liven you up in the morning, and help even relax before bed…virtually an easy tool added to your toolbelt for any situation you may need. **”Stop, Breathe & Think” is a great smartphone app for guided breathing, meditation and mindfulness practice that only requires a 5 minute commitment. If you don’t have 5 minutes to invest in yourself, then you should consider re-evaluating priorities**
HOW TO EXERCISE ONCE YOU’VE CAUGHT THE SNIFFLES
If you’ve made it this far, then you are truly committed to ditching excuses and finding solutions for your health (even if you don’t realize it yet, you do!) Trying to go for your maximum weight deadlift, or run a really fast 5k might not resemble the best choice if you can’t make it 5 steps without a sneeze. However, switching up the high intensity, weight resisted, or rapid heart rate elevating choice for a wellness restoring session is what the doctor ordered:
Replace your long run with a nice walk in the sunshine, or spin class with a restorative yoga session. Moving in any capacity is still a great benefit to your mind and body, especially if it is a time you need to feel complete (or sane). Lower intensity is better than no intensity, love your body.
Bouncing off of that point, your body is very good at telling you what is wrong, but the key is being able to listen. Sometimes we need to have our ears wide open and our surroundings shut down to hear what it is trying to say. I’m sure you’ve heard it scream at you, like from an acute injury or severe illness, but at times it only may have a whispering tone. So allowing yourself the ability for a few minutes to really give a head-to-toe scan of how you feel can be like a crystal ball reading into what is going on with your body.
If you have been on a roll with your current exercise routine, and think that if you stop you won’t be able to get back on track, use this as a resource to give you some ideas on how to avoid putting your body into the gutter without doing ‘nothing’.
If you are looking for customized content, training, or lifestyle tips, connect with me on social media for more lifestyle optimization geared content!