Should I workout if I’m feeling ill?
That is a loaded question! I do not claim to be an MD in any way, but I do sometimes have clients who’ll ask me about this. I certainly feel it is up to the person feeling ill (as opposed to me!) to decide whether or not to skip a training session, but I can offer some tips which are what I do if I start to get that awful scratchy throat/low energy feeling.
First of all, for me, it depends whether I’m feeling off’ just above the neck (i.e.- stuffy, scratchy throat etc.) or if my body’s feeling achy and chilled. If it’s the latter- definitely a time for me to back off and rest and add some interesting things to my daily diet (read on for fun! I say fun as I’ve often been jokingly accused of making witch’s brew, but whatever! It helps!). If I do just feel like I have a slight cold, I’ll still workout, but I’ll modify the intensity and duration of whatever it is I’m doing for that session.
So what do I to ‘attack the invader’? Since I strongly believe in the body’s ability to heal itself, I take some things that I feel will help to promote my immune system naturally and not suppress my body’s efforts to get back to good health. Some of the following things are tried and true, and won’t be any surprise, others may sound a bit wacky but were gleaned from reputable sources, so here goes:
-DRINK MORE WATER (no brainer- right?)
-Eliminate dairy, if you haven’t done so already! (in many people, it causes excess mucous production and chances are, you’re making enough on your own!)
-Eat copious amounts of green leafy veg. I say copious because when the average American sees a leaf of kale, they likely recognize it as a piece of garnish for their fries and shove it off to the side with the rest of the unwanted bits! Therefore, I’m assuming that for many people, a mere cup of this wonderful green leaf would appear ‘copious’!
-Eat raw garlic. Yes- you will have bad breath. There is no way around it. But the compounds in this wonderful little bulb are so tremendous at healing and fighting flu and cold causing bugs, it’s worth it!
-Drink Kombucha – again- knowing me, it’s not a surprise that this amazing drink pops up again here!
-SLEEP- if there is any way you can go home early from work, or sleep in a little, these extra Z’s will give your body essential repairatory time to fight the bad guys in your body!
-Sweat it out. Bundle up before you go to bed, wear socks & a hat, use a heating pad- SWEAT! If you can break your fever, you’ll likely feel much better in the morning.
-Use a humidifier. They’re not just for the kids’ room. Dry air can strip the lining of protective mucous membranes , leaving us more prone to provide a nice habitat for unfavourable germs.
-take a warm bath with peroxide, 3-4 quarts. The antimicrobial properties can permeate the skin, helping to ward off the bacterium.
-Use the neti pot; nasal irrigation with natural salt water (1/4 tsp in warm water) helps to rid the nasal passages of unwanted funk!
-Avoid white sugar like the plague, even more than during the course of a normal day. Sugar is a perfect food for viri and bacteria!
You may be thinking- wait, what about my night-time, sleep-inducing panacea? How about my dear pills that stop me from coughing and stop my nose from running? Let me ask you this: If your nose running, and your coughing is your body’s way of getting out the bacteria or virus, why would you want to stop that?
There are some natural immune boosters I like:
-Good old vitamin C
-Oil of oregano tablets (again a natural antimicrobial, germ fighter)
-Cayenne pepper in some chicken broth (maybe an old wives tale, maybe not!)
-Reishi mushroom (this is a new one for me- just recently recommended by one of my clients- thanks, Jeanette!)
-Baking soda- 1/4 tsp in 4 oz of warm water-taken throughout the day. You can’t get more alkaline than good old sodium bicarbonate! An alkaline pH is always a favorable condition for the body to be in- especially when you’re under the weather! (A special thanks here to two awesome friends/massage therapists- Jess & Sara- for this trick!)
So give it a try! The nice thing about all of the above homeopathic remedies are that they do not have side effects (except, perhaps, if you took too many of the tablets, but stick with the bottle’s recommendation, or perhaps that of your ND!).
What if you’ve tried everything and can’t shake it? Again, I am certainly not claiming to be an MD and the purpose of this blog is ONLY to share a few tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years. The bottom line is that if you are sick, and feel you need to see the good old doc, than do so! No one knows your body as well as you do!
Good health to you!!