As I sit here writing this I am still sniffling and sneezing from a head cold I picked up more than two weeks ago! It’s hard not to feel like this cold is a setback on the progress I have been making on my training and goals. However, there are some simple steps to keep a cold from becoming a major setback and rather a platform for a major comeback!
Rest is Good!
Sometimes all our body needs is a good rest! The fact that we even caught a cold can be a good sign that maybe we have been working ourselves too hard. A cold can force us to take the rest to need to let injuries heal and allow our body to recover from our active lifestyles. It’s also important to remember that when we have a cold our bodies are working hard to fight off the virus. Rest can help our bodies fight off the cold and be ready to hit the gym with tons of energy!
Don’t be Banned From the Gym!
So I know that I just harped on the importance of rest, but rest does not mean do absolutely nothing! Sticking to light workouts can help you to stay on track while recovering from a cold. I stuck to beginner yoga classes, mat pilates, light weight lifting, long walks, and easy hikes. Recovering from a cold can also be a great time to focus on new non-cardio or strength related goals. Skip your usual run and spend that time working on your flexibility and balance.
I feel that all cardio should be avoided when you have a cold. You may have heard of the “above the neck rule” where if your symptoms are above the neck then cardio is ok, but if you can’t breathe though your stuffy runny nose then how are you really supposed to go for a run? I can’t exactly go jogging with a box of tissues, and to be perfectly honest at the height of a bad cold a strenuous workout is the last thing I feel like doing! However, staying mildly active can help you feel better.
Don’t Pig Out
Sometimes when your sick all you want to do is sit on the couch watch Judge Judy and eat junk food all day, and I will fully admit I took a day off work just to do this! Taking a cheat day is ok, but sticking to a healthy diet while recovering from a cold can help you stay on track with your goals and overcome the cold faster! Focusing on a hydration and diet high in protein and low in fats is ideal.
Is Getting Sick a Setback?
So, to answer the question that sparked this post; getting sick is only a setback if you allow it to be! Taking simple steps to rest, be moderately active, and eat healthy allow our bodies to recover without regressing on our training and goals. I stuck to this advice as I got through my head cold over the last few weeks and felt ready to jump back into training at full stride when I felt better. These steps helped keep my nasty and annoying cold from becoming a setback and rather a platform for a major comeback.