Winter is Upon Us...
Winter is without a doubt upon us. The winter weather seems to bring out the nasty slew of cold and flu viruses seen every year across schools and workplaces. Dark mornings make it hard to get up to work-out but keeping up with your fitness program during this time of the year will do wonders for your immune system and mental health. If one of these bugs do get you down, start to take it easy at the first sign of that tickling throat. Sleep in an hour or two extra if you can, if not make it a priority to go to bed earlier instead! Watching the re-run of a ho-hum sitcom is not worth a week of sniffles and aches.
If you do start to feel this way, in general it is okay to continue your training, but scaled back in time and intensity and make sure to follow the sleep recommendation above. If symptoms worsen or start to effect deeper in your throat or lungs, take the whole week off, or until you feel recovered. If you do take supplements, make sure not to miss any during this time in order to give your body a fighting chance.
Starting to Feel Better
Once you have beaten off the virus, ease back into exercise slowly. Start by doing half of the exercises you normally would, half the cardio time and half the training days per week. Pay careful attention to how you feel during and after the workout and how you feel the following days. Listening to your body can mean the difference between getting one cold this winter and chronic infections until Spring times.
Often times, too much training may result in a lowered immune system. Take a look back at your training log to see if you were over doing it in the weeks leading up to your cold or flu. If you were doing a higher intensity, or more training days than usual, it might be a good idea to wait until better weather to hit it hard again. In general, 2 to 3 days of training is adequate for most people. 5 to 6 days is manageable with smart training and concrete goals but anything more frequent than that might have been what got you sick to begin with.