Judging by the recent weather we’ve all but skipped autumn and fast-forwarded to winter. I’m really not a big fan of the cold, so for me this means needing a lot more motivation to get outside and train.
Besides tapping the motivation reserves, the season change often also brings about sniffles, head colds and sometimes worse. First prize is to stay healthy, but how do you know if you’re too sick to train? Most sports docs subscribe to the ‘above the neck’ rule – if you’ve got a bit of a bug and your symptoms are in your head, a light workout is generally fine (but don’t push the heart rate too high and make sure you hydrate extra well). If you’ve got achey joints, are vomiting or running a fever, call it a rest day.
Here’s a more detailed guide:
If, all round you feel average to okay, a light session is fine, but stay under the blankets if just walking down the passage seems like a mission.
Light cardio might aid loosening excess mucus in your chest and if that’s the only reason you’re coughing, hit it. If you feel like you’re about to bring up a lung, pull on another layer of clothing and turn on the TV.
Some fresh air might just clear a light ache, but if you feel like there’s a little man with a hammer in your head trying to beat his way out, don’t hit the road.
Don’t even think about exercise if your temperature is anywhere over 37 degrees Celsius. Working out might cause the virus to invade your heart muscle, which could lead to permanent damage. People often take this lightly – don’t!
Stay in bed, no questions asked. Your body is fighting something more serious and doing any sort of exercise is just going to make it worse.
If it’s just an irritating little scratch there shouldn’t be a problem, but don’t do anything if your glands are swollen and you can’t swallow the energy drink in your water bottle.