Thursday, January 25, 2007

Down for the Count

Ugh. If you're anything like me, staying inactive while you're sick is as difficult as watching someone else win the Ironman on TV.

When I was in elementary school, I read that it was healthy to exercise when you're sick and beneficial to your immune system to just keeping moving. Nearly 20 years of not resting and continuing with life as usual when in the depths of flu season followed.

Time for some chicken soup.Although I've never been a particularly sick person (bragging rights: I made it from 1998-2003 without being sick once; I don't what has happened since), it would typically take several days for me to get healthy again. And then one day last October, I rested. A co-worker had infected me with the flu (I'm not bitter), so I slept until 2 p.m. and subsisted on green tea and chicken stock for the whole day. By morning I felt just peachy. I hope I can hop back into my training tomorrow morning as well.

If you're torn between resting or training when you're under the weather, check out some resources for making decisions based on how you feel.

Several articles look to the "neck test": if you're illness resides above the neck (head ache, runny nose, throat cough, etc.), mild to moderate exercise may be appropriate for you. But if you're experiencing muscles aches, respiratory problems or stomach pain, you should probably stay home.

But when you decide to exercise sick, keep other people in mind. For instance, if you workout at a gym or rec. center, your germs may prevent some other fitness nut from training too. And that's just not cool. They might be like me and hold it against you. Forever. It might be wise to exercise restraint when you're sick instead. You may be able to get back in the pool or on the track sooner.

So, maybe swimming Thursday should become... swimming Saturday. We'll see.