Being sick is really a fit person’s worst nightmare. Yes, even fit people get sick, although not as frequently as other people.
Inactivity causes tightening or contraction of inactive muscles just like if you sit in one position for a long time. When you are sick in bed for a period of time, the connective tissue of your muscles actually shortens which reduces the range of movement of your joints.
Not only will notice a reduction in your muscle strength and ability, but there will also be a reduction in your aerobic capacity.
This means that you need to take care when returning to exercise. It can take anything from six to twelve weeks to get back to where you were depending on how sick you became.
The good news is that your body has a thing called muscle memory which means that once you have shown your body how to be fit it remembers. It kind of stays in your cell’s memory. When you start training again it comes back which means your body will respond much more quickly than when you first started out.
So how do you start again?
Depending on your chosen activity then the rules are simple
- Cut back intensity. Don’t work hard, just be gentle and allow your body to remember the rhythm etc.
- Cut back distance or time. Don’t go as far or for as long. Maybe start at 20 minutes and work your way back up.
- Cut back frequency. Exercise 3 days and then 4 etc.
You may have to go back to a beginner’s program for a few weeks. Walk instead of run, flat riding, or walking instead of hills and gentle swimming.
Although I have written these guidelines for the flu or a virus, they can be applied to anything that affects you physically. If it is serious then it is always a good idea to check with your treating doctors or health practitioners.
Of course if you want to start swimming again and you have had some surgery it is always a good idea to see when it is safe for your wound to be exposed to the water as well.
Most Important Tip:
Listen to your body. If it says you are tired, take note and modify what you were planning. If it hurts slow up. Self Care is the most important thing anytime, but especially when you are coming back from illness.