Stayed at the Menzies ofcourse! 

Don't you hate it when you come back from holiday and you get sick?  Guess its better than being sick while on holiday eh.  I went on holiday to have time out from a very full on year that saw me go to 20 shows!!!  that's alot of pics and time on the computer.  Plus I'd also been training pretty hard in the gym and felt my body was telling me to have a holiday too.  So there I went jetting to Sydney for a few days of sunshine.

But then 'bam' almost as soon as I hopped off the plane I felt hot and head felt stuffy.  Perhaps I caught something from someone off the plane or combination of having time to finally relax has made my body realise just how tired it was and susceptible to getting a cold.

              Like most gym bunnies,  I was determined to get back to gym despite feeling and looking like death warmed up.  Needless to say I could hardly lift a pencil but I still needed to go to maintain routine and it is better than wallowing in tissues at home.  Since then I have made myself rest and forced myself not to hop in the car to go to gym for a few days.  Gym will always be there! 

But  I'm wondering how many of you have continued to train even though you know you should rest? Nothing can bring a bodybuilder's progress to a halt more than when you are sick. But for most of us, its we've been programmed to go to gym and feel if we missed a day or two, we'll get fat or lose any gains we've made in the gym.

Remember that while training can help us gain muscle, lose fat, feel good and energetic, it is still a catabolic activity. The body needs to be in good health in order to go from the catabolic state caused by the exercise to an anabolic state of recuperation and muscle growth.  
  So if you have a severe case of the cold ie flu, your body is already fighting a catabolic state caused by the Influenza virus. In this case, weight training or intense cardio training would only add more catabolism, which in turn would decrease the efficiency of the immune system against the virus, causing you to get sicker. Therefore, absolutely no training if you have the flu. Instead, concentrate on very good nutrition and on drinking large amounts of fluids. Once the flu completely runs its course, you can slowly start up back on your weight training program with lighter weights and not going to failure.

Don’t push yourself too hard during this first week. The next week you’ll repeat what you  did on the previous week again, but pushing yourself closer to muscular failure. By the third week of your programme you should be back on track.
If you're like me and suffering from a minor set back of a common cold (you know that it is mild when your symptoms are just a runny nose and slight coughing), you may get away with training. However I recommend you just stop rather try to push things. But if you absolutely cannot tear yourself away from the gym then you might want to train lighter by decreasing your weights by 25 percent (divide the weights that you usually use by 4 and that will give you the amount of weight that you need to take off the bar) in order to prevent you from pushing too hard.

Amazing street artist.           Me at Sydney Hbr.                Love this slogan.      Just being arty.

Take it eay with the cardio. I couldn't just sit at home and do nothing, so a 20min walk in the fresh air was plenty to feel like I've done some exercise. If you really are sick then you shouldn't try and do any hard out cardio as this will only do your body worse.

Again, if the cold virus is causing you to feel run down, achy, with a sore throat and headaches, it would be best to stop training all together, until the symptoms subside. If this is the case, just follow the exercise program start-up recommendations described above for after the flu. Remember that we do not want to make it any harder for the immune system to fight the virus by introducing more catabolic activity, so intense training is out during that time.

Now that we have seen how a flu or a cold can throw a wrench into your progress, lets see how we can prevent them from affecting us during the flu season or during any other season for that matter.

Avoid overtraining. Work within your energy levels and don't try to do too much that isn't in your programme. Rug up if you go outdoors. If you do most of your cardio outside, make sure you wear a warm wooly hat, gloves and scarf.

Maintain a balanced diet. Eat good clean healthy food and avoid processed foods that contain high levels of saturated fats, refined flours or sugar since these types of foods lower the immune system function.  You can also afford to increase your calories via extra good carbs as your body will need energy to recover.


 Keep up your supplements. Take Vitamin C and L-Glutamine to speed up recovery even if you're not training. 

Get a healthy dose of sleep a day (anywhere from 7 to 9 hours depending on your individual requirements).

So remember, stay healthy by following the tips above, and if you get sick, then "don’t"

Rest until you get better! If you don't you will end up more seriously ill and this will take you out of the gym for a longer period of time. And no gym bunny needs that horrible thought.

Lisa, Go Figure
9 November 11

                                      Anyone for a crocodile and kangaroo back scratcher?

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