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RETURNing TO EXERCISE AFTER ILLNESS

With summer kicking in now is the perfect time to consider getting outdoors and increasing our activity levels!


Unfortunately for many this year has brought with it high rates of the cold and flu. Although the thought of raising our heart rates can be daunting, it has far more benefits than risks.

As long as it is done in a safe way!


Before you consider exercising you need to make sure you are comfortable when inactive. A couple of easy indicators are checking that your resting heart rate is normal for you, or if you get breathless with tasks like talking.





DON'T TRY AND MAKE UP FOR LOST SESSIONS!

A week out of the gym can cause exercise guilt, but working extra hard on your return can cause a relapse of illness and put you out for even longer! It takes roughly 4 weeks to lose any gains, so don't be hard on yourself!


GRADUALLY INCREASE INTENSITY


By incrementally increasing the cardiac intensity of your sessions you are able to test out your system in a controlled way. This can be done by monitoring your heart rate, for example starting with a max BPM of 100, adding 10 BPM per session.


GRADUALLY INCREASE DURATION


The same principle applies for duration of exercise. For example if you are a runner, start with 25% of your normal distance/time and increase each session. If you feel comfortable after, it is safe to progress.


SPLIT YOUR SESSIONS UP


By breaking up your exercise throughout the day you are able to monitor your body and able to achieve more.

For example:

  • Complete 4 x 5 min jogs with rest in between rather than 20mins continuous

  • Complete circuit in parts throughout the day, rather than one go

Although it may feel like you aren't working as hard and isn't as convenient, dividing up your exercise has just as much benefit as completing in one stint.





FUEL THE TANK


Quality sleep and good nutrition are essential for recovery, especially if you are sick. It's amazing how much energy is required to fight illness, so give yourself the best chance and load up on all the good stuff!






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