I am writing this as I have been constantly interrupted by sickness since I started running last year. Just before entering my training’s down week, I had to rest for three days because of dysmenorrhea, and now, three weeks after that, I came down with the flu. Just imagine my frustration having to write down “didn’t run” in my training log; luckily this time, I was able to feel the symptoms as early as I could so I became proactive and took the necessary actions to mitigate my sickness. I wasted three race registrations last year by getting sick a week before those races and I have no plans in repeating that again this year.
In addition to that, missing workouts and having to step back a little from my progress is really frustrating. To make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, my Coach Jowa has given me a few pointers so my progress will not be hindered this time.
1. Train but Listen to your Body
It would take some time before you really get to know your body well and how adapted you are to your environment or how fast it can react to any changes, but nobody will really know you better than yourself since you’re in control of it. You know best when things don’t feel right or you could be coming down with a flu.
I know a lot of people could be stubborn and would still run or do their workout even if they have already felt that something is not right. I should feel ashamed because I used to be one of those. Now, I let myself rest when I feel too tired from my day’s activities. It’s better to miss one day of working out than a week’s worth. Resting doesn’t mean laziness. Think of it as recharging your body.
2. Eat Healthy
Basic right? But how many of us are really fueling ourselves with the right nutrition? This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to consult a dietitian (but go do such if you feel like it). Eating healthy does not also equate to restrictions or giving yourself limits. I also don’t believe that you completely have to let go of your “comfort food”. Just make sure you have a balanced diet and you’re still eating nutritious meals more than those guilty pleasures.
The key here is to make sure that you feel great, have more energy, and have an improved health. If you find yourself overwhelmed by nutrition and diet guides out there, count me in and probably many others too. Try to find out more about your macros first, then your micros, because these are the basic nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy. If you could, try preparing your own meals to make sure you’re feeding yourself the right food.
3. Don’t skimp on Supplements
I’m sure you’re quite familiar with supplements because most of us were required to take some when we were kids and it’s usually the Vitamin C our parents ask us to drink. Now that we do more activities and some of us don’t have access to a consistent type of diet due to work, we should consider looking for the supplement that is suited for our needs. Different dietary supplements may have vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and herbs in them. Although you should not replace any of your meals with these supplements, you can take them depending on what you’re lacking in your daily intake.
4. Respect Recovery Days
It would be best to take some time to recover after getting ill. I remember my coach telling me that a few days of missed training won’t make such a dent in my fitness. After the symptoms are all gone, take another extra day or two just to let your body recover from all the stress it has been subjected to.
When you do get back to training, make sure that you go easy. It should be done in a short duration compared to your usual and make sure you’re only doing aerobic exercises. This recovery period will not only make sure you’re totally over your illness, but also minimizes your risk of injury. You see, when you become inactive and go hard on your body all of a sudden, you’re subjecting yourself to strain and that could lead you to getting injured.
Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep each day and if you can, you may also try to take a nap in the middle of the day to give yourself a little energy boost. Getting adequate amounts of rest not only gives you enough energy for your activities, it also boosts your immune system to fight against unwanted illness.
Amidst the spread of viruses and changing of weather conditions that usually trigger the flu season, these are just some preventive measures we can do to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Getting sick does not only weaken our bodies, but also affects our productivity in work. It is important that we take good care of our health to minimize our risk of sickness and mitigate losses.