Pilates When You Are Sick
Is it ok to work out when you have the flu or a cold?
I am sick... Yup of course it is the holiday season and I have some well earned time off so my body starts to relax and then BAM! Boxing day sore throat, painful ears, glands up and runny nose.
I cannot complain I have fought this virus off for a couple of months and not really had any illness all year so it was probably time.
But what to do about exercise, I have a skiing trip at the end of Jan and really want to make sure the legs feel strong and up for the challenge, my skiing isn't brilliant as my quads will testify too after many many heavy snow ploughs.
This is not a scientific what you should or should not do during illness this is just my personal thoughts and how I tend to manage exercise during illness. Please listen to your own body and do what feels right for you.
In the past I have been guilty of the 'Man Up' (or 'Woman Up' I prefer) culture get out there and train hard! Sweat it out. I have generally found that all this does is prolong the illness, outdoor exercise seems to bring on the chesty cough too.
About a year ago I told myself I would not do this anymore, really how much fitness can you actually loose for taking a week or two off?
So now I make sure the first day or two I really do nothing other than some easy spinal movements, flexion, extension, side flexion & rotation. All done seated and slowly. I also like 'Legs up the Wall' pose as it is just generally good for so many things.
Then around day 3-4 I start with 20 minuets of a mixture of yoga and pilates focusing on full spinal and joint mobility and lots of chest/heart openers, like Up Dog Pose (shown below). I find thid helps keep my chest from getting congested.
I also find a little bit of gettig upside down helps clear the airways and unblock my sinuses. Nothing to heavy unless you're really feeling up for headstands (I find they make me dizzy when I am sick) but gentle a Downward dog pose works well for me.
Very slowly I increase my movement adding in a little core work but nothing too stenuous untill I really feel better. The most important thing is to listen to your body and do what feels right for you!
The majority of the time I have been sleeping or on the sofa drinkning tea, eating chocolate (well it is Christmas) and cuddling dogs.
I see illness as my bodies way of asking me to slow down and take a break...
and don't worry in a weeks time those glutes & thighs won't know what has hit them!