It may be the most wonderful time of the year when it comes to family, festivities and fun for the holidays, but when it comes to health and fitness, it is also the most difficult. The most obvious culprits are the holidays themselves, when the gyms are closed and we’re tempted by delicious food we only get once a year and in turn, tend to over-indulge. A lesser obvious culprit (only lesser because it’s unplanned) is that we find ourselves right in the middle of cold and flu season. We don’t just miss one day or two in this scenario–it can be a week or more of recovery depending on how we handle the situation. When we’re highly motivated and determined to stick to our fitness routines, it can be difficult to determine if we should push through or not. We have some tips to help navigate this dilemma as well as get through an illness!
- Remember the “above the neck” rule of thumb: If your symptoms are above the neck (think stuffy head cold), it’s probably ok to push through assuming that you don’t have a fever—just make sure to wash your hands frequently and wipe down any machines you use at the gym to keep your fellow gym friends from getting sick too. If it’s below the neck (think chest cold or stomach virus), definitely stay home. Trying to push through could prolong your illness and make things worse.
- REST. The more you can rest, the quicker you can improve. Your body is working overtime to fight off whatever virus or illness you have, so the best thing you can do is honor that by conserving energy.
- Ease up on your meal plan restrictions. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and well nourished. Most likely, your appetite won’t be up to par so you might find yourself craving those carby comfort foods. Whatever you can hold down, we would argue that you should roll with it!
- Check in with a friend. It’s tough enough feeling worn down and sick, but it’s worse when you feel like you’re falling short of your workout goals. A diva friend can always offer encouragement and help keep you motivated for when you feel well again.
The biggest thing to remember is that you may be worn down and sick today, but you WILL get back to your workouts and crush those goals in no time!