So last week I started this incredible new program and was kicking ass at it. LITERALLY! I love it! But over the weekend I came down sick. And as much as I wanted to keep pushing forward I knew it was best to rest.
As a fit pro & a fitness coach I hear it all the time! I am sick/exhausted/injured – but I will just push through it! Mind over matter right? WRONG! Yes, to an extent there are the slight issues that we can push past & complete our workouts. But there’s the other side – being TOO tired and TOO sick.
So what’s the big deal if I just ignore the fact I have the flu or severe sleep deprivation for example:
Well, first of all when you finally feel sick that means your body has already been fighting this for some time – we are talking days to a week or more. By the time you have symptoms that illness is in FULL swing and about to take you down. You think, well I will help things along by pushing harder at the gym, in class (Zumba etc) or with my home workout (P90X3 for example). But the truth is you are just working against yourself. Your immune system is on full attack mode – that means a lot of things. That pain you feel is your immune system attacking your body – sounds freaky right? But the truth is whatever it is making you sick has invaded your body’s cells and those cells send out a distress signal that says HELP I’m infected so please kill me before it spreads! That’s the not so technical way of explaining it.
Second of all when you are exhausted your brain is not fully functioning. So some of those signals that are required for movement get lost or not sent. That means big trouble for your form. When your form falters you are at risk for a major injury! a day off to rest (or even 2 or 3) is much better than 2 or 3 weeks because you pushed too hard, got sicker or hurt!
When your body is telling you to back it off a few days you must listen. I do. Last time I didn’t I got a lot sicker for a lot longer. We are talking pneumonia and longer lasting flu that made me feel like death warmed over. Even though it feels like a setback it is temporary. Imagine a 3 week setback if you don’t rest for 3 days. Take care of your body, even when you are telling yourself to push through an illness, you really could be setting yourself back even further.
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