We’re officially a week into the new year, and already a little wrench has been thrown into the works here at FitLifeSF HQ– Rob got sick right after the new year, with me following in his footsteps at the tail end of this week. What a bummer to hit the ground running (or biking, or swimming, or fighting, or lifting…) and then find yourself laid up on the couch watching Jerry Springer with a box of tissue and a stick of Vicks. But, as the bumpersticker says, Shit Happens.
Whenever I’m laid up and not able to keep to my regular routine, I find the following points valuable:
- Remember that eating is really 80%, if not more, of the battle if your goals are physique and weight-related. You might not be able to go whole-hog on your workout, but you can make sure to not go whole-hog on your eating. Eat what you need to recover, but don’t use being sick as an excuse to go off your eating plan.
- Rest assured that fitness doesn’t go away in a significant way in the period of time of your average cold. In fact, if you have been working out consistently for several months or years, you’ll probably benefit from the forced break. That’s not to say that those first workouts back from illness aren’t going to suck (more from your body still being run down than from a loss of fitness), but you’ll bounce back quickly once the illness is completely out of your system.
- Just do what you can. You can head off even the small fitness losses you might experience in a one- or two-week layoff by just doing a portion of what you are used to. You might not feel up for a 5-mile run, but a brisk walk will get the blood moving and moderate exercise kicks the immune system into high gear to help fight off the nasties. Not up for a full P90X or Insanity circuit? Great time to work on your flexibility with some yoga. Don’t take an “all or nothing” approach– something is always better than nothing.
- Use the time to get/stay excited about your sport– research upcoming races, pore over gear porn on the internet, spend some time on forums talking to others who share your interests, map out your goals for the year– I’ve mentioned several times my love of stickercharts for mapping goals, workouts and to reward myself for sticking to my nutrition plan. Stickercharts rule, and and an illness-related downtime is the best time to whip up an awesome one!
And, the most important thing to remember– in the grand scheme of your fit and healthy life, one week is nothing.