Getting sick sucks. Am I right?! You feel like crud, can’t go to work, you have to stay away from friends and family and the worst…you can’t go to the gym. (It’s obviously not the worst, but you know what I mean.) After staying home for a few days you start to feel stir crazy and feel like all your hard earned muscles have escaped off your body forever. ( Which is not true). So after a few days or a week, we start to feel better. Energy is coming back, sleep is getting back to normal, hunger has resumed and we decide it’s time to get back to the gym. Or in some cases, you still feel like crud but you are so bored, you come back a bit too early.
Back in the gym. SCALE. No matter how good you are feeling, it is always tough to go from zero to 100. This is similar if you go on vacation; or any long time spent away from the gym. When we are recovering from being sick, our body just did a ton of stuff for us. We don’t need to beat it down even more. If you came back and working out makes you feel even worse, you probably came back too soon and your body still has some work to do. If it makes you feel better, keep trucking away.
Yesterday was tough, but we felt pretty good after the workout. We are pretty sore after taking a week or so off but it feels so good to sweat. That’s exactly what the goal is for today. Modify so you can focus on having a great workout. This could mean, lower weight than usual, or if there is a machine; the calories are a bit less. As you warm up your soreness dissipates but lungs are still not feeling too hot. Today is not the day to try and break any records. That day will come, trust me. But remember, your body just did some bad ass stuff fighting off whatever it was fighting. Give it some grace. You haven’t lost your fitness, this is it’s time to shine.
Raise an eyebrow after reading that pretty amazing truth bomb I just dropped? Well, you spent months, years, working on your breathing, how to pace; you have become stronger and built more muscle mass. You understand when to go hard, or when to slow down. You know how to workout when you are sore or when you feel like a million bucks. You know good sleep and a good meal make your workouts feel better. Now apply all of that to that first week back.
Day 3, 4, 5.
Do a check in with your body before you start class, during the warm up and before you start the workout. How do I feel? Do my lungs, legs, arms feel better than yesterday? How is my energy? If you answered “ I feel freaking amazing!” “I am not abnormally sore at all!” “I can breath better again!” “My energy is a 10!” Then today is the day to go back to how you normally have been working out. If you answer “meh”, “my energy is like a 6”, “it’s still hard to breath” , “oh boy am I wicked sore”, then it is definitely worth it to still give your body some grace and continue modifying your workouts.
Trust your body and your fitness. There may be times where you feel like things will never get back to normal, but if you keep pursuing your goals, and hone in on your recovery, our bodies are pretty resilient, you will be back before you know it.