Getting back in action after having pneumonia, the flu, or even the common cold can be quite difficult as an adult. We often find ourselves behind in work, behind at home, and still dragging from low energy and lingering fatigue. Here are 5 tricks to getting back in action quicker:
1. Turn off all electronic devices an hour before you want to fall asleep. The glow from cell phone screens, tablets, TVs, etc. has been found to disrupt sleep and sleep patterns. When your immune system has just worked overtime, getting a good night's sleep is extremely important, so start powering down and unplugging an hour before you plan on going to sleep. Still have trouble sleeping? Try this quick guided meditation for sleep I posted earlier this month here.
2. Prioritize Your Top 3
We all have those top 3 things that just need to get done - making a list in the AM or the night before of just 3 things and focusing on knocking those items of your list first thing in your day reduces the stress associated with trying to carve out time later in the day when other "problems" tend to crop up and when your recovering body is tired. The last thing your immune system needs when recovering is stress, so working to minimize time stress is key.
3. Ease Back Into Working Out
Skipping workouts when you are in the middle of fighting the flu or when you are contagious is best. Once you are on the road to recovery though, postponing getting back into working out doesn't always help. Working out reduces stress and fights insomnia. Prolonged inactivity comes with an entirely new set of problems. Modifying your workout the first week or two back is a better option- lighter intensity, lower weights, fewer reps, and more rest breaks are all ideal ways to modify a workout so your immune system can keep up and keep you healthy.
4. Plan Something Fun
If you've been stuck in the house every spare moment you have trying not to infect others, planning something fun often lifts your spirits. Maybe it is scheduling a massage appointment, a dinner with friends, or a trip to the bowling alley with the kids. Whatever it is- if you have something to look forward to, you'll have a better frame of mind to deal with lingering fatigue and the stress that comes with it.
5. Plan to Drink Water
Illness often leaves you dehydrated. It is one thing to "try" and drink more water during the day, but it is another thing to actually plan out drinking 64 ounces of plain water. People rarely drink enough water by chance, and recovering from illness is a particularly tough time because you've gotten out of your normal routine. Buy a big bottle of water so you can see your progress, and if you hate the taste of water, check out these infused water tips I included in day 2 of CrossFit Silver Tiger's Workplace Detox Challenge.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the author nor web site publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Cori DiDonato, C.S.C.S., NSCA-CPT is the owner of CrossFit Silver Tiger and Silver Tiger Consulting as well as a Purehaven Essentials Independent Consultant. For more health and wellness articles by Cori DiDonato, please visit: http://www.corididonato.com/library.php
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