Last updated on January 22nd, 2019 at 02:08 pm
You are breathing hard, sweat popping on your forehead, and the exhaustion is overwhelming.
It’s not the workout causing all that exertion. It’s the lovely spring head cold making you feel like you are underwater, and your oxygen intake is down to nothing from the stuffed nose and rattling cough.
The viruses are going around. You add a pseudo vacation after no breaks for months and you can guarantee you’ll be taken out by some illness. It’s like your body knows you have can rest now so it might as well kick the virus into gear.
How do you know when to skip a workout?
1. Fever is a deal breaker
There is a very good reason you should rest when you have a fever. You are already pushing a higher temperature and raising it even more with a hard workout can make you sicker. Any fever of more than 101 is an excuse to take that break.
2. Take it down a notch
So you’ve gone through 3 boxes of tissue. Today. If you are still determined to get out there consider taking it down a notch. Not sure what that looks like?
If you normally go for a run, try a brisk walk. If your weight lifting is high intensity, see what lower weights or shorter reps feel like. The point is to keep moving not break what energy you have.
3. Above the neck
Sore throat, sinuses plugged, or teary eyes are all in your head. Literally. This is a good check to see if that workout may be OK to hit head on.
Add to that any coughing, fatigue, or body aches and you can take that as a sign you need to give it some more time. That virus may have taken this workout down with it, but it won’t be there forever. It just feels that way in the moment.
4. How’s your breathing
Sniffles and a stuffed up nose are purely annoying. Add the extra drips that happen with any exertion and the workout gets interesting.
If a cold medicine makes those sniffles diminish than get out there and feel how a sweat impacts your day. Skip it if you have any coughing, bronchial tightness, or if there’s an elephant sitting on your chest. That rattling cough is a good reason to take the bench.
5. Is it helping or hurting
Most people workout because it makes them feel good. That rush of endorphins after a good workout session is what keeps me going to the next workout.
On the other hand a workout that leaves you feeling drained and worse off than when you started is never the goal. Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you and get the most out of your workout. Or your rest.
With any fitness, the goal is to feel better. That may mean skipping a workout when you are sick.
Planning to skip a workout is never in any fitness plan. We have got to work on our goals every day, right?
I can guarantee no one’s fitness goals include passing out in the middle of a workout. Check in with your body and write yourself a sick note if you need to. The more you take care of yourself now, the better that first workout back is going to feel.
Go get your fit on.
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and serial entrepreneur who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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