As the winter weather descends on us, often sickness does as well. The question then becomes – should you train when you’re sick? My answer to that is, it depends on how sick is sick!
Of course, if you are completely bowled over with the flu and your head spins just going from sitting to standing, then you shouldn’t be training. In fact, you should be in bed! But if what you have is a case of the sniffles, and you’re still able to do all your regular daily life activities then yes, you can still train! You might just need to modify your training, and work around the slight shortness of breath and/ or the need to have tissues on hand!
Modifying your training can mean switching your training from a run outdoors in the colder air (that will make your nose and eyes water anyway, so if you already have this happening because of your sniffle situation, you don’t need to add to the waterworks!), to an indoor session such as a Pilates or yoga DVD.
If lying on your back causes you to cough, due to that runny nose streaming down the back of your throat, then adjust your training to work from an incline position. For example, swap bench presses for push ups, and sit ups for planks. Rather than a cardio heart-starter session, if you’re feeling a little short of breath, opt for a toning resistance session such as ‘chest, bis and tris’, or ‘abs, calves and shoulders’. Picking smaller muscle groups will take the pressure off your heart and lungs, but still train specific body parts so you continue to get the benefits from your training.
Remember, you’ll also be pushing blood around your body, and kickstarting your endorphins, which will give your mood a boost, so you’ll be feeling a little more positive about your day. When you’re slightly under the weather, it’s super important to make sure you are well hydrated going into your training session, and that you stay well hydrated throughout. Your body needs the fluid to help fight off whatever lurgy you have, as well as fuel your training session. Once you’ve finished your training session, be sure to get some super nourishing fuel on board, to help you recover, both from your session and from your sniffles!