If you are anything like me, I hate to miss a workout. I am up early every morning ready to go and when I can’t it disrupts everything about my day. So, this week my life has been majorly disrupted. It started with a cold, that turned from bad to worse. I went from feeling just a little off, to downright horrible. Needless to say, I have not worked out in a week and believe me it is wreaking havoc on my brain.
So, when should you take a break and rest? Here are a few answers from Men’s Fitness.
Q: When you feel a cold or flu coming on, should you change your regular workout routine?
If you feel like you’re coming down with a garden-variety cold, you can still exercise without significant limitations. If you begin to feel worse after your workout, however, cut back. Take a few days off or reduce your effort to 50% of your normal capacity. Walk for 15 minutes instead of running for 30 minutes, or do one set of lifting instead of five. Also, keep in mind the above-the-neck rule: If your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough, or sneezing, you should be fine to exercise. But if your symptoms are below the neck, such a chest congestion, muscle aches, upset stomach, etc., make sure to rest.
Q: What should you do when you’re in the midst of a cold or flu? (Does it help to “sweat out” a fever?)
Stay home if you have a fever, stomach symptoms or the flu. If you’re wiped out with fatigue there’s no reason to work out. Plus, you’re contagious the first five to seven days. Rest allows your immune system to recover. Get to bed early and get extra sleep, drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol), take over-the-counter cold and flu medicines or ibuprofen as you recover.
Q: When should you resume your regular exercise routine after you’ve recovered?
Again, listen to your body. Colds typically last for a week to 10 days, but you may need as many as two to three weeks to recover from the flu, depending on the severity. Don’t go 100% for the first three or four days. Start at 75% of your normal workout (for both cardio and weights) and increase gradually for the first week or so. If you try to go back too soon, you may just end up prolonging recovery phase. You may also be more short of breath if you’re recovering from an upper respiratory infection.