Exercise and colds

On Tuesday last week I began my usual training but everything felt heavy.  I thought i was probably dehydrated, but by the evening I was even more exhausted.  I then woke on Wednesday to a nasty sore throat and a bunged up nose.

No big deal, just a cold.  

I'm following a strict training plan and enjoying it, the thought of having to slow down or even rest wasn't an option I allowed myself to consider.  So I pushed on regardless.  But by Friday I was even worse.  It was only then that I decided to rest up and recover. 

So I learnt the hard way.  

When you're feeling groggy continuing to workout is a mistake.  It just makes things worse.  In my case it's made my recovery longer and I still feel ropey now.

So what is the correct thing to do if you begin to feel lousy?  Two words, REST and MOBILISE.

  • Accept your sick
  • Don't stress about it
  • Rest
  • Drink lots of water
  • Work on your mobility
  • Ease back into it
  • Dose up on good quality vitamins and veg
  • Get some sleep

As a rule of thumb...

A) If your symptoms above are above the neck, such as a sore throat or bunged up nose, basically a light cold - then you can continue to train but lightly.  If you're doing sprint work or high energy HIIT, go for a short jog instead.  If your lifting heavy weights, go lighter and take bigger breaks between sets.

B) If your symptoms are below the neck, such as a chesty cough, sickness or diarrhoea, then stop.  It's likely you've got an infection or virus and working out will make you much worse.  Stop and rest.

But generally, a rest day or two is always the smarter option – not the lazy one.