Back in October, I got sick and was faced with the dilemma of whether or not I should continue my workout regimen. I had always heard that if the cold was in your head, continuing exercise was fine, but if it was in your chest it was best to rest. As we approach flu season, it's important to know how to handle illness and exercise. Steve Edwards wrote a great article in the most recent Beachbody newsletter that addresses this issue. In his article he gives a few pointers for what to do in regards to fitness when you come down with an illness.
Because our bodies use its recovery properties to fight illness, most of the time it is best to take a break from your fitness routine in order to allow your body to fight whatever is attacking it. Steve suggests increasing vitamin C and water intake the moment you feel like you are coming down with something. As the illness progresses, make sure to rest as much as possible-whether that is taking off work or missing out on a weekend party. It's also best during this time that you eat as cleanly as possible-no soda, sweets, or junk food. It can be better during this time to eat small meals throughout the day to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs without burning lots of energy digesting a large meal. When the illness has run its course, ease back into exercising- don't rush. Slowly working your way back up to the level you were at before you got sick gives your body time to acclimate.
Try to remember...as hard as it might be to skip out on some workouts, it is better for you in the long run to let your body rest and recover. It might even make you stronger on the other side!