Friday, 17 November 2017

"I don't feel well, but I'll just work through it"

"I don't feel well, but I'll just work through it."

Have you said that recently?  We all have at some point I'm sure.  However, is it really a good thing?  

I have this discussion a fair bit with clients (usually when they're sick) and I have to say, after 15+ years working with a wide variety of clients, I don't agree with that mindset.  There is research discussing how depending where the "bug" is affecting you (head, lungs etc), sometimes light exercise is good (like a nice walk in nature). I don't dispute that.  My experience though has shown that people don't adjust, or even take a break when they get catch a "bug" . Not even just in terms of working out;  I mean in their daily life (work, exercise, rush rush rush.....) we don't stop, and we need to!!  

Life is a rush.  Daily life is high-stress for many people today no matter what.  Unfortunately, this doesn't help keep our immune system strong, sometimes even despite our best efforts.  When we get sick, our body is obviously experiencing physical (and mental) stress due to whatever virus is attacking our system.  So if our daily life is rushing around, and high stress, plus we add the physical and mental stress of a virus/bug, why would we feel that "working through it" would be a "good idea"???

Again, I'm just speaking from experience. Is there really such a problem with deviating from your regular workout routine for a workout or two, so you can rest and feel better??  Guaranteed if you're not feeling great going into the workout, you won't get the same quality of workout anyway, whether you do the same routine as last time or not.  Your body just won't have the energy.  In addition to that, is one workout missed to rest and recover going to set you back a ways??  No chance.  Take the time to feel better.  

Personally I feel we need to focus our attention more on our overall daily stress levels and really understand and monitor them, by listening to our body.  Daily stressors can be multiple things;  

  • Work
  • Finances
  • Social life / lack of social life
  • Relationships
  • Kids
  • Responsibilities
  • Too much exercise / too little exercise
  • Lack of nature
  • Community (news, politics etc...)
Just to name a few.  

Add a virus as an added stressor and you have a body that is bogged down and in need to recharging.  
Obviously if your work is kind enough to be ok with you staying home when your sick and not sharing your "bug" with your co-workers that's a great bonus.  Unfortunately, most places feel work comes above all else in life, and you are expected to be there.  So with that in mind;'re not feeling well, you have caught a virus, and you're told you need to be at work and have to go.  After work, you typically go to the gym for your workout.  You don't feel well (especially after working all day feeling like garbage), but probably "working through it" would be "good for you".  You don't want to miss a workout! 

I see this too often.  When you read it, are you saying to yourself;  "well ya, that sounds a bit ridiculous".  To me it is.  Feel better. That should be your goal.  At the VERY LEAST if you're not willing to take one "life altering workout" off, adjust the intensity: 

-Go light. 
-Focus on breathing exercises
-Light but big full body movements in sync with your breath.
-Yoga or meditation work.   
-Stretching and/or mobility work.  

And of course, drink plenty of water. 

As much as society needs an "on" button to get more active, those who have "hit the button" also don't know when they should hit the "off" button and take a break.  We're a species that tends to be nothing or all out.  

Find the middle ground. Be realistic.  Be safe. Be healthy. And feel good.