Personal Training, Fitness and Nutrition Motivation

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Illness is Humbling

Hi Readers

The trainer has been DOWN, hit by a sinus infection, which NEEDED to be treated with antibiotics. I am on my last day of the meds and FIRST day attempting a work out….very modified. I have never experienced anything like the symptoms of a sinus infection….so I sympathize with everyone one of you who has had one or has one. Symptoms are SEVERE headache, inability to breathe, sleep, eat, and fever….and the list continues. Also, it takes awhile to get over….I am on seven days and still talk with a nasal accent….lol. I rarely get sick, so this is quite the humbling experience for me, and no I am not some super human immune to illness… this leads of course to what I have to say about fitness and illness.

First, listen to your body….I am a firm believer in this. If it hurts (I mean really hurts….not “this is hard hurts”), DO NOT DO IT. If you are ill with fever, vomiting, inability to breathe, and just can not get your ass out of bed, then stay there. The body is a wonderful machine and will direct you to eat, sleep, and yes, eliminate waste. Also, listening to your body also means knowing when to see the doctor because not all illnesses will go away without some assistance. It is better to heir on the side of caution…if it diagnosed as a virus…then it has to run its ugly course, but an infection NEEDS attention. Am I saying run to the doctor over every sniffle….NO. Even I see the doctor only on rare occasions, this happening to be one of them. However, if you just do not feel right, are feverish, and are not performing at what feels like YOU, then you may want to get it checked out.

Second, the workout during illness…..again a listen to your body thing. If you are so sick that you are unable to get out of bed and feel good….you have no business in the gym or working out at all. You are slowing down the process of your body building those awesome antibodies that are working to get rid of what is attacking it. Think of it as a recovery process when you workout a body part. Let’s say you completed an awesome back routine and the next day, you are feeling the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Well what created that feeling is micro tears to the muscle tissue being broke down during your workout, and your body is responding to build it back up…..hence building beautiful muscle. Would you turn around and work it again during this process…..I HOPE NOT. Think of antibodies building in your body the same way while you are ill to keep you from getting that same strain of illness. Pretty awesome stuff!!! On the other hand, if you are feeling not quite yourself…we have all been there….but can handle something light, then go for it. During this process, I can not stress enough, FLUIDS and spice it up with some lemon slices to help detoxify that body.

Third, for the die hard “I HAVE TO BE IN THE GYM EVERY DAY” exercisers….CHILL OUT!!! Sorry to be so blunt.....but studies have shown that you have to not work out for at least 2 weeks for deconditioning to begin. So, NO….your butt is not going to get big in five days…so stop getting out of bed and looking in the mirror or feeling it because in your mind it has happened, and NO….your muscles are not going to shrivel down and be unnoticeable, and YES… will get better and be back at it soon. If you play with your bodies natural defenses to help you….BEWARE of the consequences of RELAPSE. Relapse of an illness can occur by ignoring your need to rest and get well. Relapse of an illness is 10 times WORSE than the original bug….it is better to be down for a few days than several weeks….do you agree?

Fourth, I know I covered this, but FLUIDS…..lots, and when you eat, this is the time you want to pay attention to the good stuff going down. Of course, chicken soup is a MUST, at least for me, when you are ill….and sometimes is the only tolerable thing your body can take. Remember, the salt in the broth will require you to drink more fluids. Foods that have worked for me during illness are of course chicken broth with a whole grain tortilla to dip in the broth. Hot oatmeal with flax meal and wheat germ mixed in it, and the tried and true plain cracker. I can not emphasize enough the fluids during illness especially on medications because what do they do….DRY US OUT….what does that mean…CONSTIPATION…yes I can say that….it is all about fitness and wellness. Please handle that…

Fifth, I am a say it like it is trainer….love ya…and would be negligent in helping you if I was not. So, I hope this read was helpful and truly if you are sick…IT IS OK TO TAKE A BREAK!!!

Stay Healthy!!!!



  1. You forgot itchy throat, sore throat, stuff ears all of which I am beginning to feel today. I get these often for some reason. Yuck.

    Hope you feel better.

    Great advice!

  2. I'm glad to hear that you are starting to feel beter.

  3. Hi Darla,

    I've been an avid fan of yours for a while and just came across your blog! YAY!

    Thanks SO much for this post. It's so clear and to the point.

    Hope you are feeling much better real soon!

  4. Oh girl. You wrote this for ME didn't you???? I had a sinus infection and then got another cold right after. :( Big bummer. But I have been doing everything you have suggested. You have to rest your body. You have to allow your body to heal. Thanks for the great, realistic post!


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