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Monday, February 11, 2013

Should You Exercise if You Are Sick?

Good question. The answer is - it depends.

If you are suffering from a cold, then exercising is a great idea as physical activity boosts the immune system. Strive for 30 minutes of moderate activity, like walking, light weight lifting or yoga.

Avoid getting too overheated or being outside too long in really cold air where you could possibly make your cold worse. If it is cold outside, make sure you just have a head cold and wear a scarf over your mouth. If you feel it settling in your chest or have a bad cough, the cold air might make matters worse. So use common sense.

If you have severe aches and pain, a high fever and are vomiting, then it may be best to take a break from exercising. Your body is fighting really hard with a virus and what it needs most is rest and comfort food like chicken noodle soup.

With either case, make sure you are drinking an extra amount of water to help the body flush the toxins out as well as eating wholesome, protein rich foods for the extra nutrients your body needs. Fruit and vegetables of course, are a given. They contain immune boosting ingredients our bodies need. So eat light, eat often and eat right.

I also suggest higher doses of supplements like Vitamin C, Zinc, garlic as well as a product I love - Nutriferon. Click the link to learn more about it. Your body needs more nutrients than you can get in your diet alone, especially when it is fighting a virus.

Another good idea many people overlook is bringing fresh air inside the house. Wintertime is a very dry time indoors and a lot of unhealthy air can build up. I suggest opening a window in each room and turn on the fan on the furnace to circulate the air. Do this for approximately 10-15 minutes each day. This will help “change” the air in the house, bringing in fresh air and eliminating, stale, contaminated air. Just be sure anyone who is sick or young babies are not caught in any drafts where they can get chilled. 

You may want to lower the temperature on the thermostat a couple of degrees to prevent the furnace from kicking on. 10-15 minutes will not cause the temperature to drop more than a degree or two and you shouldn’t have the temp set very high to begin with. It is much healthier to keep the temperature inside a bit cool and dress warmer than have a higher, dryer temperature. This holds true even when you have babies and young children.

Don’t forget humidifiers. I suggest one for the bedroom as well as boiling water on the stove a few times throughout the day. You can also leave water in the tub after baths and showers. Saline spray for noses I believe are a huge help. But good luck trying to get young children on board with that one.

When you start to feel better and your fever breaks, I would ease back into exercise slowly. Overheat and overexert yourself too much, too soon could make you feel worse. It may take a week or more to start to feel like your old self. So be patient and give your body time to recover. It just fought a big battle and with a little self TLC, it will be armed and ready to protect you again.

Of course, the best thing to do is to try and avoid getting sick in the first place. Wash hands and wash often. Eat good food and exercise and take good supplements.

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