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Listen to Your Body When it Comes to Fitness and Illness

Have you ever had a severe sinus infection? I have experienced a couple and they can really put me down for a few days. I couldn't believe how horrible the symptoms were and I sympathize with anyone who has suffered through it. Bad sinus infections can take a while to recover from similar to any severe illness. For those of us who rarely get sick, this is quite a humbling experience.

Symptoms can include a severe headache and I would say more like entire face pain. Also, the inability to breathe and high fever are typical signs of a sinus infection. Sleeping can feel impossible and eating is often limited as our appetite decreases. Sinus mucus coming out yellow, green or even brown are obvious infection markers. Fitness is pretty much out the window when an illness of this magnitude comes calling. This is the time to focus our energy on getting better.

Illness can happen and does and it's okay to relax with your fitness program. In fact, your body will recover faster if you take time off to rest allowing your antibodies to build and work to your benefit.

There will be things we don't want or like to do but are necessary to recover from illness. I had to take antibiotics for my sinus infection for example if I was going to get better.

Put workouts on hold. Our body is working hard to recover and taxing it with a training session is really not the best idea. I'm not talking about the sniffles here, but a severe illness requiring a few days of bed rest. If you're too sick to get out of bed, you have no business in the gym.

Listen to your body. If you have a fever, vomiting, unable to breathe, and find it an extreme effort to get out of bed, then stay there. Also, listening to your body means knowing when to see the doctor. Not all illness will go away without some assistance. Trying to tough it out for too long can actually work against you.

It's better to heir on the side of caution and let a doctor diagnose an infection or virus. A virus typically runs its course without medication but an infection usually requires antibiotics. If you just don't feel right, are feverish, and not performing at what feels like you, then you may want to get it checked out.

It's okay to chill out and miss days at the gym. Diehard gym rats will struggle with this. Missing my regular fitness routine is difficult for me as well, but recovering from an illness the right way is part of being fit and healthy.

You're not going to lose your fitness just because you got sick and missed a few workouts. Not allowing time to recover from illness or even returning to workouts too soon can cause our body to relapse. Relapse of an illness can occur by ignoring your need to rest and get well. Relapse is said to be ten times worse than the original bug. It's better to be down for a few days than several weeks, right?

Drinking plenty of water, and replenishing electrolytes are essential when recovering from illness. Consuming chicken soup and broth are old remedies studies show nourish our body and replace sodium lost through fluids.

The bottom line is to think realistically when it comes to fitness and illness. Taking time to recover will actually better prepare your body to return to the gym faster. Illness is something out of our control but we do have control over how we treat our body when it happens.

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Be well and Stay Healthy


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