Training when sick can help your mental health

If you are obsessed with training, achieving your goals and doing your absolute best at the gym, then you will understand what I’m about to say.
Before I go on, anyone else who isn’t one of us is bound to say I’m nuts.
Not long ago, I was pretty sick. I developed a head cold suddenly and was ordered by my doctor to take antibiotics. I felt lethargic, couldn’t breathe deeply, and felt dizzy when walking. It’s not the best environment for training. But, as I type this, I still did it!
I would get up early in the morning, nose blocked and feeling like rubbish. One day, my partner caught me up in the kitchen, having my pre-workout coffee. He looked at me half asleep and said, “you really shouldn’t go to the gym – it’s going to make you worse!” But I just waved my hand and said, “well, I can’t sit on my backside all day – I have to do something.” And off I went in the cold ready to hit my workout. Is this insane? Maybe to some people, it is, but it’s a way of life.
Nothing can stop me from training – unless I was strapped down or laying in a hospital bed. As sad as this is, I love training, and I can’t stop. Is it reasonable to train while your sick – I give that a yes and no. Let me explain.
Each of us has a threshold to what we can handle when we are sick. I’m not saying that we run into the weights area and do our heaviest lifts possible. Most of us can barely lift any weight at all. I didn’t, and I couldn’t. So what did I do? I just walked on the treadmill. I still wanted to be somewhat active because I know what I’m like. Despite being sick and usually tired, I’m always the person with ants in their pants – nervous energy. Maybe you are like this too and find it hard to switch off. I don’t envy you, lol.

What happens to you when exercising with a cold

When I searched on google, I had some self-explanatory answers here. Mild to moderate activity is perfectly fine. I don’t think anyone with a cold would go all out, to be honest – but it’s not uncommon to want to as soon as you feel better. Once this feeling kicks in -resist the temptation! Give yourself at least a week – depending on the severity of the sickness, to go at a moderate pace in the gym. This might mean not lifting weights and perhaps just walking on the treadmill or cycling. Do whatever you feel is best for your body.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that you should most definitely reduce the amount of time you are in the gym. Perhaps your session should only last 30 -45 minutes at most. As you start to feel better (and can breathe without coughing), you can extend that time.
Will working out when sick make it worse? I don’t know what’s worse, guys—having a negative mental and emotional state if you don’t exercise – or just doing something rather than nothing. You’re probably thinking – well, my workout isn’t going to be that great anyway – so why bother? I don’t look at it like that. Think of exercise as a means for mental, spiritual and emotional health as well as everything else. I exercise more so for my mental health than anything else. It keeps me going strong all day and helps deal with the somewhat painful situations that may be out of my hands. I guess you could say there is an addiction to how you feel after exercise. I know I’m not alone on that one.

When to give it a miss

If you have a fever, chills, vomiting or tones of coughing – you should most definitely skip the workout. Those kinds of symptoms are dangerous when coupled with any exercise. Your body needs lots of rest, warm, clear fluids and sleep. You will be as good as new in a day or so.

Listen to your body

I believe we don’t listen to our bodies enough, and that’s when they take on injury, illness or disease. It’s essential to have a mind-muscle connection & become receptive to what our body is experiencing now. Taking the time to listen will pay off. I am all for taking a day off from training if you’re not feeling good. There is no harm in that one, just like one cheat meal won’t harm you, a day off from exercise isn’t going to stop you from achieving your goals. You will just come back better than before!
Give the body time and space to heal and serve you – as it’s meant to.

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