I’m sick! Should I workout?
If you have been following my accountability videos that I post on Facebook and YouTube, you know that I’ve been fighting a sinus bug the past few days. I’d like to think it’s the flu. I’d like to think that because I haven’t been sick in a year and a half, and it would just prove how strong my immune system has become thanks to my new lifestyle of exercise, working out and a healthier diet. I say this because it’s affected my sinuses, although I’ve still been able to breathe. It has also TRIED to move down into my chest. This all started last Wednesday (today is Monday), and it’s felt like it was trying to move into my chest since Thursday morning. I attribute the fact that I’ve been making healthy eating decisions, and boosting my metabolism over the past year, to what has kept it out of my chest so far and only in the sinuses.
While that’s not the entire purpose of this particular blog, it IS a testament to what healthy eating and exercise can do for you.
I believe what caused all this was just really pushing my body and my limits. My defenses were down, my wife had just gotten a flu shot only days before, and I contracted this bug, whatever it has been. Tuesday morning, I ran two miles. My calves were hurting that day. My upper body was still sore from the upper body workout the evening before. To top it all off, when I arrived for CrossWalk fit club Tuesday evening, I was asked to assist in tearing down the huge event tent that was in our church parking lot. That more than exceeded the normal workout, as it took about 3 hours to completely tear down.
Now that you have the history as far as what led up to my setback, let me get into the meat and potatoes here. While I don’t recall every single little thing I ate over this timeframe, I can tell you that I was literally eating every 2-3 hours, and a lot of food at that (and of course, Shakeology)! My metabolism was at peak rate! Just yesterday, my wife asked if I was going to be able to eat dinner after downing a big bowl of soup and some tortilla chips with fat-free cheese melted on it and guacamole. I ended up eating 3 of her homemade baked (in olive oil) chicken fingers, a healthy serving of vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots), and a small serving of the cheddar & broccoli pasta she had made with it.
The biggest thing was getting plenty of rest. I generally survive on about 6 hours of sleep per night. Over the past week, I know I’ve gotten at LEAST 8 hours of sleep every night. I firmly believe this has assisted in my body’s ability to fight off whatever infection my system is battling.
Now, let’s step back for just a moment. There are arguments to support both sides here. Some will tell you to rest and let your body recover. Others will say that the exercise and getting the blood flowing will circulate everything better and allow your body to fight off the intruders into your system. When you are exercising, your body needs the rest to relax and to repair the damage to your system – such as the tears in the muscle tissue from working whichever muscle group you’re working. When you are sick, your body needs the rest to relax and to repair the damage to your system – in this case, whatever bug is attacking your lungs, sinuses, or immune system. In both cases, your body is fighting to repair itself.
Plain and simple, if you’re exercising while you’re sick, you’re depriving your body of its FULL resources needed to fight whatever bug or infection as entered your system. Your system is still working as if you were exercising anyway. By doing a workout, you’re simply prolonging your recovery time.
Another interesting fact here – I actually lost 1.2 lbs over the course of this sickness. I’m not 100% over it just yet, but the fact that I was eating right and at the intervals that would help my body to boost my metabolic rate, I was able to lose weight and a little body fat, too!