(CARLSBAD, CA) – You’re sniffling, sneezing, and taking Nyquil to sleep at night. Your ankle is aching from a misstep in kickboxing class last week. Your fatigue is unbearable, as your fibromyalgia has kicked into high gear. Should you exercise? Or should you take a breather? That is the question.
The answer is different for everyone. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett offers some guidelines for making a wise decision about exercise in cases of illness, injury, and autoimmune disorders.
Getting sick can put a damper on your workout regimen. But, it doesn’t have to put you on the sidelines altogether.
Use the “above the neck” rule. If your symptoms are above the neck, such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat, then you can usually continue to exercise. On the flip side, if your symptoms are below the neck, including chest congestion, hacking cough, or upset stomach, then it’s best to hold-off on your workout.
Watch hydration levels. If you are dehydrated, from vomiting or diarrhea, then exercise can make your illness worse. What’s more, exercising with little hydration or nutrition can put extra strain upon your kidneys or other vital organs.
Allow time for recovery. Even minor colds can linger for awhile. Try lighter exercises, such as stretching or mild cardio, until your body is up to par for more difficult activities.
Resting an injury is never an easy task, especially if you’ve been making strides in your fitness endeavors, and you don’t want to hinder your progress. Always get your injury checked-out by your doctor. Then, allow your body time to heal.
Never work through the pain. Follow your doctor’s orders. Ask a physical therapist what exercises you can do, and stick to that regimen.
Use alternative options. If you have an injury in your lower body, try upper torso exercises. Perhaps swimming is even an option to keep up your endurance.
Adjust your diet. If you’re concerned about weight gain during your hiatus from regular exercise, then take some time to evaluate your daily nutritional intake. Focus on healthy eating, and you may just recover more quickly.
Autoimmune disorders can put your fitness on hold for a lot longer than a minor injury or illness. The good news is that recent research has shown exercise is not only possible, but also helpful for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
Go easy. Try activities such as yoga, stretching, or light weight training to increase flexibility, range of motion, and increased muscle strength.
Just get moving. Any type of movement can help minimize joint stiffness. Whether that movement is in water or on dry land, fast-paced or slow, hopping or low-impact, you will gain benefits from the simple act of moving your body.
Pay attention. Take note of how different exercises affect your levels of fatigue and pain. Keep written records and show your doctor, who can help you determine the type of exercise that is best for you.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.