The biggest challenge when you’re ill is the ability to move around and do all your routine activities, and the most annoying one for an active person is skipping out on a workout. Well, does one work out or not during illness? Will it help or aggravate the health condition further?
The human body is very forgiving when we push it to its limits on an average day, however, one has to be mindful during illness as it could affect the condition and recovery rate. Firstly, listen to your body as it speaks to you and guides you on what you can do or cannot, that’s how our survival genetics work. Secondly, it depends on what type of workout one is engaged in as it may help the recovery or worse case make it go wrong.
Cardiovascular exercise in low intensity works during times of illness. The reason being it improves blood circulation and releases happy hormones, which aids in one’s recovery. Remember, during infection, the stress hormone cortisol is at its peak and hence it lowers your mood drastically. The physiological effects of a low-intensity workout aids in mental strength and appetite, therefore supporting a faster recovery.
Avoid lifting weights or doing any form of high-intensity weight training, this may cause the body to divert all the energy to recover from the workout hence disabling sickness recovery and make you more vulnerable to further illness. Keep the workout shorter than usual and try to split it over two sessions as it will help the body burn calories and keep the stress hormone low throughout the day and night.
Remember, recovery from illness is a physical process. However, a good diet with a balanced workout and mental sanity is the trick to beat the downtime. So next time you are unwell, it’s time to rethink the road to recovery and add in that low intensity workout.
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