Your head feels thick, your nose is snotty, and `Killing Eve` has been calling you all day long. It’s flu season, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Instinct is telling you to rest and recover- but can you afford to miss a full week of exercise? If the answer is no, then we’ve got your back. Here’s our advice on going to the gym and exercising with a cold. Achoo!
Although getting better, quickly is always the goal- you need to know what’s best for you and your recovery. Listen to your body and be honest- is today a gym day or a recuperating day? If you’re not sure, try the easy `above the neck` rule. If your symptoms are above the neck such as a runny nose or congestion, you should be fine to exercise. If they are below the neck and involve being sick, an upset tum and body aches, it’s best to take a few days off and rest up. Sometimes exercise will make you feel better, other times it won’t. Know your limits and don’t push yourself, hun.
While it’s not actually possible to `sweat out` a cold through exercise and wrapping yourself up in your old ASOS mermaid tail, excessive perspiration does help to provide temporary relief from the common cold. Exercise is great at boosting mood-regulating serotonin levels and forcing endorphins (happy hormones!) out of you via all that sweating. Nice. Use the cold weather to your favour by doing extra sweaty workouts like running, spinning or bootcamp training to help to regulate your body temperature. If your gym has a sauna & steam room, even better! Step into your Nike Benassis and hop right in.
If you’re a walker, hiker, runner, or cycler- try swapping to indoor sessions until you feel better. The gym is quiet this time of year, so the treadmills and bikes will be fair game, and you might be able to book your place in classes you’ve always wanted to try. It also means zero risks of getting caught in the rain, which your cold will be thankful for.
If you can’t function without your outdoor workout, then make sure you layer on the right clothes before heading out. Wearing suitable gym gear will help protect you against the drops in temperature and rise in wind and humidity, which is super important when you’ve got a bad cold. Pick a good running jacket made of synthetic fabrics or fleece, and always keep your head, fingers and toes toasty warm. We’d also advise wearing a scarf to keep your chest warm- especially if you are suffering from a cough or sore chest.
Eating foods packed with vitamins and minerals will help boost your post-workout and cold recovery. Pick antioxidant boosting blueberries, Vitamin C packed blueberries and protein-rich chicken or tofu soup. Try making batches of fruit & veg filled smoothie to sip throughout the day, ridding your body of all nasties.
Try this pretty pink blend by Hello Glow:
*Beetroot- a powerful antioxidant
*Apple- rich in flu-fighting Vitamin C
*Spinach- to boost your Iron levels
Every organ in your body needs water to function properly, and you especially need to top up on fluids when you’ve got a cold and your body is having to work extra hard. Drinking lots of water helps to rid the body of toxins, and more importantly, works to regulate the temperature of every area of your body. Water, hot tea, coconut water and electrolyte fuelled drinks can all help to hydrate your body when you’re exercising with a cold.
If you fancy exercising in hotter climes, why not book a fitness holiday? From bootcamp in Bali to a yoga retreat in Phangnan, nothing heals a dull mood and a poorly body than getting away from everything.