Thursday, November 18, 2010
Exercising While Sick
Yesterday, I woke up feeling pretty crummy. I had a swollen throat (which is different from a scratchy throat, or a egg throat or a swallowing-feels-like-knives-slicing-my-throat. You know what I mean.) Shortness of breath, which is something I've been dealing with more and more, convincing me I have congenital heart failure. Or something like that. And a terrible, hacking couch that makes me sound like a smoker with a two-pack-a-day habit. The cough also makes my chest feel like it's going to explode. And a low-grade temperature, although I never really took my temperature but trust me, I felt hot.
I felt a little bit better after taking a hot shower and moving around, but I was still functioning at 75%. And I spent the entire day wondering whether or not I should exercise.
You see, I'm not addicted to exercise. (Yet?) I can make up a million excuses of why I can't exercise. I'm tired. I have too much homework. I'm sick. I'm having women problems. I need to spend some quality time with my dog. Anything and everything.
After my 10-hour day, the only thing I wanted to do was go home, cuddle with my dog, and take a nap. I was exhausted, my eyes were burning (which made me believe the culprit for this sickness was allergies. Yay.), and just felt crummy. But I researched about it and came to a disappointing conclusion: it is OK to exercise while sick.
I knew beforehand that the rule of thumb is anything involving the head means you can exercise. Anything involving the chest means no. (And yes, you can exercise when you have cramps. But I never do. Because cramps hurt and make you feel horrible. The end.) And since I was feeling slightly better, and perhaps because I wanted to write a blog post on exercising while sick, I went for a run. (Side note: it's also important to tone down the intensity when exercising while sick. Since my runs have the intensity of a knitting class, I decided to do a regular workout.)
I completed Week 6, Day 1 of Couch to 5K which was a horrible run. I got a side stitch almost immediately and only finished the intervals because my mom was running with me and giving me pep talks, such as "Unless you faint, puke, or die, keep running," and "Stand up and finish what you started!" It took a lot for me not to punch her in the face.
The result was a fairly awful run which made me doubt that I will ever have a natural love for the sport, as I do for napping. (Which is a sport, because you burn calories while doing so. Fact.) I was happy I finished it, but it really made me feel worse. I think I pushed myself too much and I'll probably do something much less strenuous tomorrow. (Like napping.)
What about you? What's your rule of thumb for exercising while sick?
Sources: x and x