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I woke up on Monday morning with a nasty head cold. So naturally, I wanna take this time talk about how I’m dealing with this cold right now because it’s that time of year where we are all gonna wake up with runny noses and scratchy throats.
Here’s the thing: when you get sick, you’re already feeling pretty shitty so why make yourself feel even worse by beating yourself about falling off track? Let’s first chuck that straight out the window and actually focus on making you feel better. K?
Tip #1 when you’re feeling sick or even feeling like you are starting to feel a cold come on is to REST. IF you’re anything like me and you love to lift heavy, working out is the absolute worst thing you can do for yourself. That’s because when you’re exercising your immune system weakens.
Your immune system does get stronger from exercising often but it gets stronger in the recovery, not actually during the activity. So when you’re sick or getting sick, weakening your immune system is the exact opposite of what you want to do.
If you want a speedy recovery (of course you do!), allow yourself that rest your body needs so you can go back to your fitness routine quicker. On that same note, as the days go on, continue to listen to your body. Don’t just assume that because you woke up feeling better on day 3 or 4 that you can go back to it 100%… Ya gotta ease back into it.
This morning I was feeling a little bit better but I knew I wasn’t feeling good enough to lift so I did a little bit of yoga. I say a little bit because I followed a YouTube video but I had to skip about half of the more strenuous stuff with my head upside-down because I wasn’t feeling it. And that’s OK! I did maybe 25 minutes of the light stretches and that was enough.
Tip # 2. I feel like there are 2 kinds of being sick. There’s the “I can’t stomach anything” kind and there’s the “I’m so fucking bored, I need more snacks”.
In the earlier half of yesterday, I was the first kind. It was about noon when I had my first “meal” and it was not what I had on my meal plan this week and I didn’t track it in myfitnesspal. At that point, I honestly needed some comfort food. Which turns out to be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I dunno why but that’s what I crave when I’m sick. Most people want soup, saltines, grilled cheese… whatever it is, f*cking have it – unless you have an intolerance to it or know you’d react badly to it.
The reason being is that you feel pretty shitty right? If food can make you feel good for a moment, I’m all for it. Especially if you don’t have your full appetite for that day, you’re probably not going to eat that many calories anyway.
But here’s the thing, no matter what your body needs food for fuel to recover. So just because you’re not hitting the gym because you’re sick, doesn’t mean you need to limit your carbs. In fact, you may actually require less protein and more carbs and fat at this time.
So it’s okay to have those comfort foods but of course, like any other time in your life, moderation is key and do your best to balance that with nutrients from wholesome foods.
If you’re in the “I’m f*cking bored and I need more snacks” kinda sickness, just be mindful. I personally don’t track my food when I’m sick like this. I just give myself that rest because I know when I’m feeling better again, I’ll get right back on it.
Tip #3 All in all, Remember that having a cold is only a very small fraction of the total picture. Even if you don’t workout or track your food for a whole week, it’s still a very small window when you look at the entire year as a whole. When you do return to exercise, ease back into it and don’t try to make up for lost time. It’s basically impossible and you’ll just run yourself down even further.
Getting sick is no reason to be hard on yourself. In fact, it’s more reason to love yourself and take care of yourself. IT sucks but it will be over before ya know it.