Despite the amount vitamins, fruit and veg I have consumed this week, along with early nights when I felt the startings of a cold, unfortunately I had to pull out of The Kingston Breakfast Run today http://www.humanrace.co.uk/
I was really looking forward to running this 16 mile race as it is where I grew up so would have also given me an excuse to catch up with old friends for the weekend. I have unfortunately been flat bound trying to shake off a severe cold/flu a lot of people seem to have at present. Usually down to the change of season this time of year.
So why did I not take some painkillers and run anyway?
Although I probably could have got through the race when you are ill if you do a hard workout or a race you can impair your immune system for several hours, allowing unwelcome guests to make your illness worse. Your immune system fights most effectively when it isn’t stressed and a single rigorous exercise session or race can actually make you more susceptible to bacterial or viral infection.
I have included some more tips below re illness and exercise. Best to get it right!
- Fever. If you’re hot, skip the workout. Elevated body temperature raises your heart rate, and exercise jacks up your heat and heartbeats even more, putting stress on your immune system.
- Aches and pains. Forget the exercise if you have nagging muscle pains or a headache, which could be a sign your body is trying to fight off a bug.
- Upset stomach. If you are having trouble keeping down solid food, you should not be keeping up with the exercise. Your body could use the rest, and exertion could make you feel worse.
- Hacking cough or lung congestion. It’s not a pretty thought, but you could be pretty sick if you are coughing stuff up. This is a sign your respiratory system is under siege and probably would not be up to the rapid-fire breathing you usually work up to when you are in your best form.
When your illness seems to be letting up, work back into your exercise routine slowly. Before you even head back to the gym, allow three to four days of rest after a bad cold and at least a week or so after the flu.
So lets cross my fingers I feel better in the next couple of days and can get back to training for the Birmingham Half Marathon http://www.birminghamhalfmarathon.com/