Friday, March 27, 2015

Putting up Your Dukes, After A Long Illness (or long R & R)

I haven't worked out in 6 days. This may not seem like a long time to everyone else, but to me that's an eternity. Dear Lord, what do people do with their time when they don't work out, I have been so bored and ready to get back in the game.

It all started when my 1-year old got the stomach flu, then my 4 year old, then my husband and last - I got it. The walls in our house feel so claustrophobic.  As much as I wanted to escape the germy filth, I could not. Even getting up to walk to the bathroom was a chore, and in fact my oldest refused to even walk, For 3 straight days she was given room to room carrying service, per her majesty's request.

None the less, here I am at the end of the stomach flu, feeling lazy and slightly timid about re-entering the real world where people talk to me and I talk back. Where do I start with my reintroduction to the fitness world that is such a big player in my world. Here's my game plan:
I wish I looked normal enough to be a model when I was sick...

Return to Fitness: Start SLOWLY. First off, when you have rid your body of all food and liquids from your body, the last thing you want to do is try to crank up the intensity. So what I don't plan on doing is to storm into the gym like nothing ever happened and try to burn up calories that I don't have. Nor do I really feel like joining in on any group fitness classes in the instance that I can't finish class or I can't keep up.

What I decided is best is a slow, gentle approach. Starting with long walks, to get "my walking legs back" (words from your majesty herself). Long walks outside if possible to reintroduce fresh air and all things nature, just like our bodies crave.

Kimberly Snyder, benefits of getting outside

Then my next step up will be something middle ground, like a yoga class, where I can set the pace of the workout, upping and lowering intensity by the minute based on how I feel. This is why Yoga is wonderful, they take competition out of the process. Which is why you don't hear about yoga competitions in the area. Ha, what a funny thought: My downward dog got points taken off because my heels weren't touching...

After a few days of walks and yoga then maybe a gentle gym workout with reduced weight or reduced workout time just to test out the muscles and ease them back to greatenss. It's likely that one will still be feeling muscle weakness and dehydration for a week or two after the flu. Dang you flu, it feels like you agee my body overnight. I'm feeling very much like a 70year old writing my blog post.

Total Body (mind and body) Recovery Steps;
  1. Start hydrating - juice, water, tea, coconut water (for electrolites) whatever fluids you can give yourself that hydrate
  2. Eat what sounds good - I was craving carbs and so I ate french fries. Trust your body to know what it needs. It's not a time for raw veggies, it's usually comfort foods that absorb calories quickly. Don't worry about the calories just yet
  3. Be kind to your body. Your body is an amazing mechanism, it just fought a LONG battle and won,  it just saved your life, look at the big picture and be grateful for your health
  4. Start slow with a return to fitness: walks, nature, yoga, stretching, rolling, deep breathing and reduced workout times

Unfortunately, now that I am within the last days of the Crossfit Open Workouts, I am saddened that I won't be able to give my full, healthy effort into 15.5.  Awe, shucks. But at least I will be able to do it still. Either way, the best news is that I am on the mend, my family is on the mend and we are all moving forward, even if at a snails pace.