Thursday, January 12, 2012

Working out When Sick

The shots are being administered. The cold remedies are moved front and center of the drug stores. Some of us are coughing and sneezing. Others are wearing masks and running around like SARS just broke out. It's flu season and sooner or later, someone's going to bring up the second-most pointlessly asked question...

"Is it okay to work out when you're sick?"

If you asked me, I'd say...
It depends

You couldn't ask for a more intuitive and though provoking answer, could you? While these people are at it, they might as well ask about the best workout music (that being the most pointless question).

I'll read any book that has words in it. That even includes British Survival Guides. I recall in that book about making sure that if you're in a group survival situation that it's important that every person has a job, no matter how ill or injured they are. The reason for that is to keep boredom at bay. An idle mind with a sick body will kill rapidly and any little thing that can keep someone stimulated and feeling important could be a life saver.

Face the facts: if you sit around and think about how sick you are, chances are good you'll be sick longer. I know that I can only tolerate the monotony of watching TV in my bed clothes while I try desperately to get the taste of cough drops out of my mouth with fizzy, sludgy mixtures of Airborne and orange juice for so long.

Yes, this blog entry came to mind when I thought I might have a cold. I usually go to the doctors just to make sure it's not strep throat (which I used to get a lot when I was a kid). Just being at the doctor's office made me feel sicker even though
the only thing that was bothersome was my throat. Other than that, I was fine. It's one of those times where the more I thought about being sick, the more sick I felt.

If I can work, then I'll work out. I'm not trying to set any records here. Working out is, after all, a controlled breakdown of the body. I'll just do something to keep busy but not bust balls. I'll keep the reps low, rest more between each set, and drink more water than I usually would. I followed this advice with a work out after going to the doctor's office. I felt fine the next day.

The scale of mental health versus physical health need to be carefully evaluated on more serious things than the flu. I'll never forget the sensation of trying to use my CoC's when I had the shingles earlier last year. Sensation is too gentle of a word. For those who've never had them, this is the best description of the pain: Life-threatening electrocution! So, that time, I had to deal with being one with the couch. Use some good sense on more extreme cases of illness.

Sickness and exercise is one of those moments where you need to be honest with yourself. A very modest amount of self reflection should give you the answer to your questions on this one. It doesn't require a key stroke ride to your favorite forum of internet-strength Gods. Chances are, you already know the answer to this question. Act accordingly.


n8tive said...
read this article last night. This goes hand in hand with your post.

Justin_PS said...


You mean, they VOLUNTEERED to be infected with a cold?

If I was in that test, they'd better be buying my fucking Sucrets and Mucinex.!

Dray said...

What do you think of explosive pullups? As in, hands coming off the bar, or clapping pullups?

Also, I haven't commented here in a while so I don't know if you do remember, but I used to comment once in a while.

Justin_PS said...

Sure, I remember you, Dray. I've seen you comment quite a bit on C&P.

Like just about any other pull-up, I love them. I don't get much opportunity to do them since they require a very stable, strong bar, something I don't have regular access to... yet.

My exploding pull-up of choice is the monkey/legend pull-up.

Dray said...

I know Jamie is a big fan of those too.

Actually I had another question I forgot to ask. What do you think of using a smith machine (since I have regular access to one) for balance assistance with pistols? My body structure is such that it's difficult to get into a squat period without extra weight on my shoulders, since I fall backwards on my ass, but I've been trying to work back towards doing bodyweight stuff more often.

Justin_PS said...

I couldn't tell you. I've never used a Smith Machine in my life.

n8tive said...

Well I was thinking the same thing about being taken care of for the cold infections... The things people do in the name of science ;)