Excercising When You’re Sick

I’ve been sick for most of the summer. The most frustrating part about being sick (aside from being sick) for me is my lowered energy and inability to exercise like I’d normally want to. TLDR here is: Know your body, and don’t push yourself into discomfort.

One of your biggest strengths when you’re sick is knowing your body, and actually listening to it. I’m stubborn. I like to think I’m fairly strong, but my immune system puts up a very minimal defense against outside invaders. All it takes is for me to be around someone with a contagious illness, and I’ll pretty much get it.
I’ve learned that while I can go to the gym and lift weights, well, I probably shouldn’t because I’ll just end up running my immune system even lower and moving energy that should be used for trying to fend off illness into muscle repair.

Part of knowing your body is knowing when to throw in the towel and go to the doctor’s. However, I feel like way too many people take what their general practitioner says at face value without any challenge. And I feel like part of the problem is not having a personal rapport with the practitioner you see, since so many offices have a roster of doctors with varying areas of expertise. Challenge your doctor and medical staff. Once you find a doctor you have a good rapport with, boy does that make things a lot easier.
Sadly, my very much loved doctor recently left the practice, and this new doctor didn’t match his attention to detail. When I went in recently, I told the Dr how frustrated I was getting with being sick so often, as it was really messing up my workout schedule in addition to draining my energy and leaving me feeling crappy. I had spots on my throat, and was getting really fatigued shortly after working out to my desired intensity level. I had my tonsils out when I was a kid, and while I still tend to get a lot of reoccurring throat-related illnesses, I’ve been tested for strep plenty of times, and it has never been strep since my tonsillectomy. When they tried to get me to take a strep test, I firmly but politely told them not to run the test for the aforementioned reasons. This Dr wrote me an antibiotic prescription and mentioned that I should remember to wash my hands and keep up exercise on her way out, which I felt was fairly generic advice. I also think it’s important to know when to ignore your doctor’s advice, or know when the advice given doesn’t apply to you. If I were younger, I’d probably think “Hey, doctor said I should workout – more bicep curls and inverted sit ups for me!”

Instead, I’ve relegated myself to yoga and less intense exercise until I’ve fully recovered. Sigh. It’s boring, and good for my body, but something is better than nothing.

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