Sunday, 12 February 2012

Illness vs fitness - who should win?

Over the last few weeks I've been feeling a bit run down and over this week (after lots of late nights and being stuck in the snow) I found myself feeling unwell.

Now I am usually - I'm ashamed to say - a bit like men are regularly accused of when ill. I feel sorry for myself to the extreme and I am a stroppy and sulky patient.

However, when I'm trying to lose weight and get in shape I instead face a battle between whether to relax and mope vs wanting to lose weight and progress with my fitness plan.

So what should you do when you're feeling ill, you've got a cold, you're all runny nosed and funny headed. Should we head to that gym and carry on exercising, or is this bad for us and we should rest up and get better first?

If you're like me you'll find you'll receive a mixture of responses.

Over the last week or so I've been given a host of advice:

I'm under the weather because I've been putting my body under stress from dieting and exercising
I should rest up and let my body get better
The reason my cold is lingering so long is because at times I've tried to do exercise
You should always work through it and carry on with your exercising
Perhaps I've been pushing it too hard and should ease off a bit on the exercise

And the guidance goes on and on. So who's right?

I thought seeing as I've been in a cold-ridden confused state, others may well have been the same and might benefit from me giving a definite answer.

So I've done a bit of research online and the general consensus seems to be this...

...exercising when you have just a common cold is fine!

BUT you need to learn to trust your body, obviously if you ache all over and are finding it hard to breathe then strenuous exercise is not a great idea. When you do decide to exercise, tone it down a bit. Pick something a bit less hardcore.

If you've got a high temperature don't exercise because then it can be bad for you.

I've found some useful info across the following sites:

Feeling unwell and wanting to keep on that fitness track? Then follow the rules:

Are symptoms above the neck?
Is there no high temperature?
Are there no body aches?

If you can answer yes then feel free to get exercising, BUT at a reduced pace. Maybe instead of a hill run go for a brisk walk. Or shorten your usual session time.

This week I've completed two sessions of my hardcore 20 minute workout DVD (but on level 1 only), a 45 minute gym session (less time than I'd normally do) and a 1hr 10 gym session (long workout but I slowed down each time it felt my body was finding it tough). I have also stuck to my points allowance.

So my weigh in is tomorrow, I shall let you know the results and hopefully the experts are right, I will keep in shape and my cold will shift. Until tomorrow morning's weigh in...

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