Taking a break from strenuous exercise- On Thursday morning when I nearly passed out while making the girls' lunches it was pretty clear that I needed a break. I didn't realize what was wrong at that point but I knew my body was telling me something. So I went back to bed. Luckily, I have a great husband who was willing to tag team in so the girls could get to school on time and I could get some rest.
I felt somewhat better on Friday, though I knew I needed to see a doctor since my throat was still bothering me (and my ear was sort of aching as well). I thought I might get away with a light walk that evening, but an afternoon doctors' visit confirmed my strep throat suspicion so I bagged the walk idea.
Yesterday I felt terrible so there was no way I was going to even try to do more than rest and try to help take care of my family.
Today has been declared an official rest day. Other than a little laryngitis, I'm feeling much better. However, trying to do too much too soon can result in getting sore (when you normally wouldn't) and feeling tired and achy throughout your workout. However, I'm not laying around in bed. Now that I'm not contagious, today is all about laundry (getting rid of those germs!) and cooking and veggie prep for the week ahead. I may go for a very light walk this evening as well.
Tomorrow, I'll get back into the game with a long walk, perhaps a short bike ride and just generally trying to be active. I won't do a strenuous cardio session (though if my walk turns into a comfortable jog, that will be fine). Tuesday I'll get back into it, heading into the gym for a serious sweat (as long as it feels as comfortable as it normally does). Plus, I'll be making sure to get some good stretching in before and after.
Your body uses a lot of energy in healing itself when you are sick. Even if you take medicine and painkillers, your body is working hard! Causing it to overwork when you are sick does you no favors. Let your body rest and it will let you know when you're ready to go. If you're worried about losing your focus, ask a couple friends to bug the heck out of you when you're feeling better to get focused again.
Hydrate- and I don't mean with juice/soda/sports drinks, etc., unless it's juice you're juicing yourself. I mean water or hot tea. I wasn't nearly as good about this as I should have been (hey, swallowing food/water is hard when you have strep) but I'm really making sure to make up for it with these last two rest days. One of the biggest complications from illnesses like strep and the flu and colds is dehydration. Your body needs those fluids more than ever! I will tell you what, warm tea with a little honey is also helping to sooth my scratchy throat.
Good, healthy foods- Lots of immunity boosting things like citrus, ginger and garlic. Eat what your comfortable eating (meaning, if it hurts to swallow you may want to stick with some comforting healthy soups), but keep it light. Also, I don't know about you but dairy tends to aggravate my throat when I'm sick, making it feel harder to swallow. If you're not super hungry, try smaller snacks if you can to help nourish your body, supplying the energy to heal. Things like almonds, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and vegetable soups. Include protein, which helps your body build and maintain strength. Definitely make sure to eat something though! I know that you may not feel like it, and some people love that post-illness weight drop. Please remember though that a) it's temporary and b) it's not fat you've lost, it's most likely water weight. Plus, you do NOT want your body noshing on your muscle in the absence of food.
So hopefully these things will allow me to get back to my routine this next week and enjoy the nice weather we have in our forecast. Plus, since I've been down for the count, the house is a wreck and I definitely have some chores ahead of me!
What are some of your 'must haves' when you're sick! Are you a chicken soup kinda person? Ice cream? Flat Sprite and saltines (that used to be mine, but no more soda for me!)
Stay healthy people!
Edited: Good thing I checked back. I do know how to spell recuperate...