Knocked Out & Back in the Game: Get Back on Your Feet & Into Your Workout Routine After a Flu

‘Tis the season not only means the leaves are falling, the world becomes colorful and it’s utterly cozy, inside and out. That’s ideal, wishful thinking. But we shouldn’t forget reality is not all that colorful. 

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The beginning of the colder, wet season also comes with a downside: cold and flu. This is when tea is needed more than ever. 

I have been sick for almost a week now and this means: no work, no workout - no physical action at all, basically. Even going for a slow walk to get some fresh air seems exhausting these days. It really hit me hard this time but I hope that’ll be it for this winter. 

The most difficult part for me mostly is knowing I cannot train for about two weeks if I don’t want to run the risk of being sick again. I know that those of you who are very fitness conscious feel the same. On the one hand, you’re feeling stiff and shaky the whole time, the body aches, so working out wouldn’t be an option anyway. On the other hand, there’s your head telling you ‘oh my, no workout routine for two weeks…’ - and then you feel even worse. Like me. Right now. 

However, you can’t change the fact that your body is weakened and there’s no way you should - or even physically could - go for the easiest of runs or work those muscles on the rowing machine. Like…no. You can’t force it - if you’re smart you shouldn’t even think of it - because you’ll only feel worse afterwards. Trust me, I’ve been there various times. 

Accept the fact that you need to rest

It’s what I am (necessarily) doing right here, right now. You can’t change the fact that your body is telling you to slow down and get the rest you need, otherwise it will take forever to be back on your feet. Recovery is key and this means: bed, tea, sleep, and even if I am myself not a fan of stuff from the pharmacy, medicine. I am a very impatient person myself, but keeping still is probably the best you can do. 

Drink a lot

Sounds easy, but this is one of the most important things when you’re sick. The more you drink - tea and water -, the more you have to run to the bathroom but the quicker you’ll recover. 

Get some fresh air

Keeping it easy in bed or on the couch is certainly good but once you feel like getting up for a little while, wrap up warm and go outside. Even if you just sit there, snuggled up in a blanket for 15 minutes or go for an easy 20-30 mins walk, this will do your body good. Afterwards, jump right back into bed and brew your tea. 

Take a hot bath

If you have a bathtub, ease the body pain by taking a hot bath, ideally a herbal medicinal bath to fight your cold / flu. You’ll be all warmed up afterwards and ready to get another round of sleep. 

Get those vitamins in

Freshly squeezed orange juice, apples, bananas, kiwis, carrots …whatever it is, as long as it contains loads of vitamins, you will want to eat it. I am not a huge fan of vitamin supplements, so if you can get all the goodness for your immune system form fresh food, then stick to that.

Be back on track but slowly

Listen to your body - and your head. It’s not bad to work out in a moderate manner when you have a cold. However, if you’ve had a fever and generally a really bad cold that knocked you back completely, you should be smart enough and not jump right back in. Slowly but surely get back into your workout routine by engaging in some moderate cardio such as cycling or an easy jog. Again: listen to your body - but be wise along the way. Take a week to be back in the game and see how it feels. Lifting allowed but don’t start right off with your personal record and those 80 kg squats. Moderation is key and with it a lot of stretching and healthy food. 

What are your tips to fight a flu or bad cold? How do you manage to get back to your workout routine quickly? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.