This time of the year can be a terrible time to pick up an illness and feel under the weather which in turn can put back your progression in and out of the gym. The last thing you want is to have to miss sessions but what is the best thing to do when you aren't feeling so good? Some people will tell you that you should still exercise to sweat the illness out, whilst others will say you should completely rest from it. Granted, it's ultimately your call because only you know how you feel, but here are some tips to consider when feeling unwell and not sure what to do...
Nine times out of ten I will always suggest that you rest if you aren't feeling too good, it's usually a sign you're doing too much and need it anyway. More often than not after one day of rest you will wake up feeling refreshed and much better, however in the event that you don't then listen to your body. The last thing you want to do is push yourself back into training when your body is still battling an infection, as this can make your symptoms worse and increase the length of time you're ill. Resting doesn't hurt and if you're like myself who enjoys being active a lot of the times, it will probably help your body to have some time off. Remember, when you're resting your muscles are growing, use this time wisely.
When you're feeling unwell another key thing to do is to dose up on healthy foods, vitamins and minerals and drink enough water to flush out the virus. Vitamin C should be taken every few hours throughout the day and you can add glutamine to your water too as this helps produce more white blood cells within the body. A greater supply of white blood cells helps fight the infection quicker which gets you back to feeling your usual self.
Make sure you get enough sleep a night because this is the best time for your body to recover properly. When you sleep your body is constantly adapting and trying to repair the cells which allows your body to grow and get better. Try to aim for at least 8 hours a night and getting to sleep at a reasonable time so that you can take full advantage of the repairing process your body has to offer.
Training should be the last thing you do when you're feeling run down and this is why I give a strictly 'no training' approach when you're feeling unwell. The best way to recover is through doing the above and not putting extra pressures on your body by putting it through intense workouts and lifting sessions. If you are going to go the gym it's because you're going to the sauna or steam room to try and sweat the infection out of you without exerting yourself. If you're going to do this try using an olbas oil which will help open up your airways and allow you to breathe easier.