“How sick is too sick to exercise? When can I resume my work out?”, these questions can haunt anyone who strictly follows an exercise routine. No questions about the health benefits of exercising, however, strenuous exercises while recovering from a serious illness can be hazardous. Ideally, suffering from a common cold with the usual symptoms of a runny nose, or a sore throat is not a good reason to skip your exercise; instead exercising in this condition can help speed up your recovery. On the contrary after a week or maybe a month long of nasty illness; returning to regular exercise regimens can be a challenge. It is a known fact that after a long illness, your cardio-respiratory fitness has drastically diminished and all your body energy is drained fighting the infection and jumping back to routine can do more harm than good.
Ideal Time to Start Your Work out
The answer is to Wait. Wait until your symptoms have disappeared. Wait until you have gained enough strength. Wait until your body decides your ready for it. For e.g., while recovering from a respiratory illness wait at least 2 weeks after your symptoms have resolved to start your workouts. Avoid working out even when you have a fever. Your body temperature is already high and exercising will not only cause your heart rate to increase but also dehydrate your body. You may also consult your doctor for advice on when can you start your workout and the intensity of workouts.
When you finally do start with your workouts, avoid being too harsh on yourself. Do not try to make up for all your missed days at the gym. Rather start with a workout plan that is of shorter duration and lower intensity. Over-working after a prolonged illness can result in elevated cortisol level which is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive thus preventing immune system fighting infections towards repairing muscles and thus making your muscles sore. The depression of your immune system can cause the illness to come back, sometimes stronger than before. Make sure to stop when you feel dizzy or nauseated.
The aim should be to resume your workouts slowly and at the same time learning to listen to your body and in knowing when to stop considering your present health condition. Here are a few tips you can follow to resume your workouts:
- Make sure you have a normal resting heartbeat. This is a good indication that you are ready to start working out again.
- Assess your breathing. In case you feel fatigued or out of breath, you probably aren’t ready to start with the workouts.
Tips to Prevent Relapse
- Take it easy with your workouts. Switch to shorter, slower and lower intensity exercises.
- Nourish your body with a well-balanced diet and plenty of liquids. Fruits and vegetables are good choices. Drink lots of soups and broths.
- Get enough sleep.
- Do not exert yourself.
- Stop feeling guilty. Take your time to emerge stronger and healthier.
Tips for Resuming Work outs
- A good way to resume exercising is “not to rush it”. Make full recovery before you return to your exercise routines. Avoid vigorous exercise immediately after recovering from a cold or flu; Start with lesser intensity and shorter duration workout plans for the first few days after recovering from an illness.
- Make sure to complete your course of medications.
- Stay inside, especially in chilly weather and avoid outdoor cardiovascular exercise. And, stay warm. Hooded sweaters and fleeces are great for keeping your defenses up and your head and neck protected.
- Boost your immunity by increasing your intake of vitamin C.
- Don’t panic or get depressed because you weren’t able to exercise while you were sick. Always make it a priority to manage your stress levels.
- Pay attention to how you feel when you start working out. Make no compromises when it comes to your health.
- Don’t linger in damp clothing. The cold, damp clothes could lower your body temperature further, making you more susceptible to catching a cold.
Follow the above mentioned health-care routine to resume your exercise schedule smoothly. Make a complete recovery and there won’t be anything keeping you away from returning to your previous levels of fitness.
Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients, and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.