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Being Sick and Working Out: Finding the Right Balance

Credit: mcfarlandmo, Flickr

Credit: mcfarlandmo, Flickr

Hi there, and happy almost-New Year! Did everyone get just what they wanted for Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Festivus/ Solstice/ Kwanzaa? In some respects, I did—I got a pretty purple Road ID, which truly is exactly what I wanted. But, I also got a little something else—a horrible, terrible, awfully bad cold. You know, the kind that starts out as knives in your sinuses and ends with you sweating in bed, surrounded by 6 billion snotty tissues? Yeah, that kind. Merry freakin’ Christmas to me, huh?

More often than not, when I feel under the weather, I make it a point to get a little sweaty. I find that a bit of exercise (not hard or long workouts, mind you, just a little something to raise my heart rate) tends to make me feel loads better and generally seems to give my immune system a boost.

But sometimes, I know that I need to just give it a rest—a real, 100 percent, don’t-do-anything rest—and let my body fight whatever nasty thing it’s caught. This was one of those times, and I’m not the least bit ashamed that I didn’t do anything more taxing than taking my dogs for a short walk for five whole days. I slept in and watched movies, and today, on my first day of feeling human, I’m back to business as usual. I just ran three easy miles (which felt so amazing), and I’m heading out to a Zumba class in an hour or so.

Right there is a little added bonus to allowing myself that much-needed time off—not only do I feel ever so much better today, but I really, really missed working out, so now that I’m back in action, I can’t get enough!

How do you deal with working out when you’re under the weather? Do you listen to your body? Rest no matter what? Or exercise to the best of your ability anyway? —Kristen

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