So I’ve blown my goal of training every day this year. I got the flu, and after one day of attempting to moderately exercise to stay on track I was flat on my back feeling as though I’d gone 15 rounds with Macho Camacho.
“I’m an idiot,” I’m thinking as I lay there.
Ya see, I know the physiology of what happens to the body when you’re training and what happens when you’re sick. Therefore, I had no business trying to do any sort of exercise once I was sure I was getting sick.
In it’s most basic sense, what happens to your body when you exercise? Breakdown. Hence, the key to effective training is effective recovery.
What happens to your body when you’re sick? Breakdown. The key to recovering quickly is focusing your immune system on the task at had. There are only two things that can help at this point, rest and nutrition.
Since illness causes breakdown, adding further breakdown to the equation will compromise an already stretched thin immune system leading to an almost certain exacerbation of the symptoms of the desease.
The variable is recovery. Anything you can do to increase this will decrease the effects of your illness. Your body recovers best during sleep. Far better than at any time while you’re awake. Therefore, it makes sense that the more you can sleep when you’re ill the quicker you’ll recover.
At least I got back to my senses quickly. I spent 99% of the next 30 hours in bed and cracked my fever. The next day I spent back and forth between my computer–working–and bed. By the following afternoon, after two ‘tube’ days (A tube is a day when you don’t leave your house. It’s was named after a rather cylindrical dog we knew whose owner never took it anywhere, resulting in his tube-like physique), I was ready for a test hike.
A “test hike” is a fitness test. Towards the tail end of an illness you can often “blow it out” by doing some mild cardio exercise that increases your breathing and blood flow. It’s important to pay attention to warning signs though because heading out too early can land you back in bed and regress your recovery.
Mine went well, thankfully, and this afternoon I should be back to training as normal. Not too bad considering a bunch of folks around here have been down for a full week with this bug.