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Exercise While Sick

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Old 04-24-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
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I have been really sick on and off since the end of February. I have had in order; a throat infection requiring antibiotics, the flu, a sinus infection cleared up on its own and I am currently suffering through a cold.

I realize that my immune system appears to be having a hard time at the moment and I think part of it has to do with lack of exercise and sleep. I am taking care of the sleep thing but I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for exercising while sick.

I am currently over the worst part of the cold but my chest is still congested so running is out. I also know that my endurance and fitness level have dropped quite a bit from all these illnesses.

Does anyone have any input or information about how to exercise while recovering from being sick to help improve endurance and fitness? Any particular types of exercise you can recommend for me? I really need to get back to the gym and need to stop using "I am sick" as an excuse.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:08 AM   #2
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I go to yoga classes when sick -- not when very contagious, of course, but when bloated from TOM, or fatigued and sore from a virus, or something like that. Usually I'll choose a lighter vinyasa class and tell myself I can take breaks when I need to. Half of the "sick" feeling is simply psychological, though: once I begin, my competitive need to not fall behind the group means I usually go through the practice without adjustments, and I feel much better afterwards.

Just now, I used a more intense version of the same strategy, and went on a 5:30 am group run (with strangers who meet at the same place every M/W/F). Not only did they not know I was unable to fall asleep all last night due to my virus, they're all experienced marathoners in much better shape... the 4.3mile course (at an 8:30 pace) pushed me to my limits, while the other women were just chatting and jogging along, but I finished with them, and that's a personal victory.

For me, it's helpful to rely on other people not cutting me slack to push through the temptation to baby myself, while being aware that if I really need to let up, that option is always available.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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My rule with running while I'm ill is always: above the neck, go ; below the neck, stay home. Colds, headaches, sore throats etc are not enough to keep me at home (although I do scale my pace down a bit), but with a chesty cough or fever (obviously), I wouldn't push myself. I might do a pilates session maybe, but definitely no cardio.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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Go for long walks! I was pretty sick last year and it was about all I could do for 3 months. Didn't think it was doing much for me but by the end of the 3 months I tried running again and managed to go 5 miles straight, when previously I had only been able to go for like... 30 seconds. The endurance built up even though I was only walking.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #5
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when i am sick, i really just sleep until i get better. i wake up, eat, and go back to sleep. i find that sleeps helps me recover faster and i am sick for a fewer number of days. then, i can go all out and exercise when i am better.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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These are some great suggestions thank you!
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