Personal Training, Fitness and Nutrition Motivation

Monday, May 22, 2017

Listen to Your Body When it Comes to Fitness and Illness

Have you ever had a severe sinus infection? I have experienced a couple and they can really put me down for a few days. I couldn't believe how horrible the symptoms were and I sympathize with anyone who has suffered through it. Bad sinus infections can take a while to recover from similar to any severe illness. For those of us who rarely get sick, this is quite a humbling experience.

Symptoms can include a severe headache and I would say more like entire face pain. Also, the inability to breathe and high fever are typical signs of a sinus infection. Sleeping can feel impossible and eating is often limited as our appetite decreases. Sinus mucus coming out yellow, green or even brown are obvious infection markers. Fitness is pretty much out the window when an illness of this magnitude comes calling. This is the time to focus our energy on getting better.

Illness can happen and does and it's okay to relax with your fitness program. In fact, your body will recover faster if you take time off to rest allowing your antibodies to build and work to your benefit.

There will be things we don't want or like to do but are necessary to recover from illness. I had to take antibiotics for my sinus infection for example if I was going to get better.

Put workouts on hold. Our body is working hard to recover and taxing it with a training session is really not the best idea. I'm not talking about the sniffles here, but a severe illness requiring a few days of bed rest. If you're too sick to get out of bed, you have no business in the gym.

Listen to your body. If you have a fever, vomiting, unable to breathe, and find it an extreme effort to get out of bed, then stay there. Also, listening to your body means knowing when to see the doctor. Not all illness will go away without some assistance. Trying to tough it out for too long can actually work against you.

It's better to heir on the side of caution and let a doctor diagnose an infection or virus. A virus typically runs its course without medication but an infection usually requires antibiotics. If you just don't feel right, are feverish, and not performing at what feels like you, then you may want to get it checked out.

It's okay to chill out and miss days at the gym. Diehard gym rats will struggle with this. Missing my regular fitness routine is difficult for me as well, but recovering from an illness the right way is part of being fit and healthy.

You're not going to lose your fitness just because you got sick and missed a few workouts. Not allowing time to recover from illness or even returning to workouts too soon can cause our body to relapse. Relapse of an illness can occur by ignoring your need to rest and get well. Relapse is said to be ten times worse than the original bug. It's better to be down for a few days than several weeks, right?

Drinking plenty of water, and replenishing electrolytes are essential when recovering from illness. Consuming chicken soup and broth are old remedies studies show nourish our body and replace sodium lost through fluids.

The bottom line is to think realistically when it comes to fitness and illness. Taking time to recover will actually better prepare your body to return to the gym faster. Illness is something out of our control but we do have control over how we treat our body when it happens.

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Be well and 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!

  5. Hello Darla,
    I really felt when you said that, "Missing my regular fitness routine is difficult...but recovering from an illness the right way is part of being fit and healthy."
    I have a different experience though. Last week I had a minor neck injury from playing basketball and I could feel it during lifts at the gym. I had to take 4 days off which threw me off because normally I go to the gym about 6 times per week.
    Thanks for writing this I really related to your problem.
    Also I used to suffer from sinus problems constantly, but I found natural ways to cure myself. If you are interested in what I did let me know.

    Thanks for the post!

    Ray V.

    1. Hi Ray - Thanks for reading and happy to provide encouragement as you work through injury. I understand the discomfort and frustration of neck issues having them as well. Listening to your body and resting it out is something we fitness people need to really learn and respect. It sounds like you're applying great self care and will be back sooner than later. Feel better, be well and Stay Healthy!

  6. I have to say you inspire me very much. Iam overweight, and I have to thank you for your tips. My girlfriend have told me for over 6 months to start working out. And with my overweight it comes with so many health issues. So I have decided to start working out again. Thanks Darla

    1. Hi Donna - thanks for reading and glad to provide the motivation to help you on your journey to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Take it slow, one day at a time and you WILL see results and start feeling much better. Be well and Stay Healthy!

  7. Great Post! I totally agree with your stance on waiting, as hard as it may be for some, it's better than going to the gym and potentially making your complications even worse

    1. Thanks for reading and your feedback! Be well and Stay Healthy.


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