Life is unpredictable. Unfortunately, you probably won't feel 100% ALL the time, especially during the flu season. This can be an easy time to throw your healthy habits like sleep, training, and meal prepping on the back burner. Here are some tips for staying on track when your mind and your body are telling you to stay in bed, grab some comfort food, and go back to sleep until you feel better.
Is it a good idea to exercise when you're sick? Yes and no. If you can get out of bed and go to work, the answer is probably yes. If you are sick to your stomach and can't keep any food down, common sense would tell you that burpees are probably not in today's forecast. Not feeling like yourself or having a head cold with symptoms "above the neck" (i.e. sore throat, congestion, headache, etc) should not stop you from being active. This may mean that you need to take it easy and modify today's workout or just go for a jog, do some rowing, or push a sled around, but it doesn't mean you should do nothing. If your symptoms are mild, you will likely find that a little exercise makes you feel better, and helps you to get past whatever you are fighting. There have been many studies that show exercise can boost your immune system. Use your best judgement, but don't let that little voice in the back of your head tell you that you can't or shouldn't exercise when feeling under the weather.
Food and Fluids
When we get sick one of the first things we neglect is our nutrition. We either don't eat enough due to a loss of appetite or we resort to comfort/convenience foods that do nothing but set us back. In reality, this is the most important time for us to be eating whole, nutrient dense foods to help our body get back to normal. Even if you are laying in bed all day, you still need a steady supply of energy to fight the sickness. Staying hydrated is also going to play a huge role in recovery and getting yourself past this cold or fever. Ultimately, not fueling your body with nutritious foods and staying hydrating will only make you feel worse!
Sometimes getting a good night of sleep when you're coughing, dealing with cold sweats, or just flat out uncomfortable can seem impossible. Simple remedies like a cup of hot tea before bed, a hot shower to mitigate some congestion, a salt water gargle, or even some nasal rinse can help to prep the body for a solid night of sleep. Be proactive! Some trouble sleeping is normal, but also be sure to not over do it and stay in bed for 16 or 20 hours straight. This will only make you feel more lethargic.
Life Will Go On With or Without This Cold
All in all, be realistic. Don't crucify yourself for missing a day or two in the gym. But don't let a little cough or head cold keep you out for a whole week (or two) and completely throw off your healthy habits. You will get better, and you don't want to give up or lose hope all because of a little sickness. Focus on your recovery, do the necessary things to regain your energy levels and get back to being the best version of you.