[SHE SAID] Life After Nyquil: How to get back into exercise after being sick

January 12, 2017

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

Ahhhhh, the holidays. Time to relax, take a break from work, spend time with family, catch whatever special virus family has, spend three days in bed and another three days wishing they made a Kleenex fanny pack because… convenience.

Cold and flu season has arrived in Indianapolis, and apparently it’s kickin’ ass and takin’ names. Lots of members have been out sick or just out of class because they’re taking care of sick family members. Nothing ruins a good workout plan like a snot-sucker-ball hunt for your three-year-old. So I’ve heard.

You survive the sickness and your household is single-handedly keeping Lysol in business so the plague doesn’t return. Now it’s time to focus on getting back to daily life, including your workout routine.

Let’s be honest: the first workout back is always the hardest but let’s focus on the good news. If you’re a regular exerciser, a small break (up to two weeks) is not going to completely derail your progress. In fact, small breaks can even be good for the body to reset and recover if you’re someone who pushes yourself hard in your workouts.

On the flip side, maybe you were just starting to develop some consistency in your fitness plan before the holidays (read: germ-fest) began. Don’t let the break stand in the way of your progress. It’s important to remember that anyactivity is better than no activity. So if you were just starting out and aiming for 1–2 workouts per week, focus on getting back to that.

Let’s break it down to one simple DO and one simple DON’T:

DO whatever it takes to motivate yourself to just move. The key is starting. Remember that you’re starting again, not starting over. Don’t let two weeks off become four weeks off. Then six. At six weeks, it will feel like you’re completely starting over so have a word with yourself. Self, I’m better than that.

DON’T try to push yourself to the absolute max during your first workout back. Your body is a magical thing and it will tell you what you can and can’t (or shouldn’t) be doing. If your lungs spent two weeks hosting a phlegm farm, perhaps intense cardio isn’t your best rebound workout. Or if the flu left your body feeling exhausted, take your weight selection down a bit in BODYPUMP™. There’s no shame in that and no one is judging.

This might even be a good time to try a class like BODYFLOW™ or BODYVIVE 3.1™ to reintroduce movement and choose your own intensity.

And for Pete’s sake and all that is righteous, don’t come to the gym while you’re still sick. (Unsure? Ask yourself if the Kleenex fanny pack sounds like a reasonable idea. If yes, you’re still sick.) We love you but — real talk — we love the less-phlegm-y version of you and we promise to be here when you’re ready to ease back into your workouts.