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  • Nikki Cagle


Fresh-faced {day five}, and post-workout, so — be kind.

The New Year kicked off and everyone was all, "Let's detox!" And I was all, "No way, I was pretty good over the holidays!" But then the flu was all, "HA — yes way. Here's your mandatory flu detox — you'll want to take one dose a day for five days." Uh, thanks?

So, instead of sipping shamps at midnight on NYE, I was sipping Theraflu. And instead of starting the New Year with a killer workout routine {a la my beloved Tone It Up girls}, I was routinely laying in bed, on the couch, back in bed, and sometimes even on the floor {ya know, twin-mom life}. After a few days of being sedentary I was starting to crave a workout, but that was only in my mind — my body was still telling me that there was no way it was going past a sluggish mph, lifting anything heavier than a tissue box, or twisting into any position other than that of the fetal position.

I can probably count on my hand the number of times I've gone longer than three days without a workout, and they almost always come down to a killer sickness or surgery. I am one of those "sweat it out," sick-chicks, so when it's a measly cold I work through it — literally. But this was no measly cold, and there was no plowing through it, other than with time {and fluids, and rest, and yadi, yadi, yadi — whatever Mom and the doctor say}.

When I was finally up to working out and my body was on board with my mind, I knew that I couldn't jump back in to where I was pre-sickness. While I may have *luckily* lost a few lbs from the flu thanks to the fact that your body burns calories from its gnarly fight {silver lining?}, I also lost a lot of strength and energy. Crackers and ginger ale will only get you so far on the treadmill. So, here are a few of my go-to workouts to get me back into the workout game, without sending me back into a state of sickness solitude:

  1. When in doubt, jog it out. I almost always start with a jog or brisk walk as my first post-sickness workout. Now, I'm not talking about breaking any PRs here — I'm just talking about breaking a few little sweat beads. I'm even saying to start at a fast walk and see what your body and lungs are capable of. I opt for a 2 mile jog or walk. Sometimes when I'm in walk mode I pump up the incline to make me work a little harder and get my heart pumping. Here's one of my favorite 20-minute walking workouts with inclines {modify as needed}!

  2. Nama-slay that flu! Seeing as how I've been laid up in bed for days, I am beyond stiff and sore. The only thing that's going to loosen me up is a stretchy yoga-sesh. I don't do anything too long or too strenuous. Something around 20-25 minutes with an easy flow, or even just a deep stretch. Here's a fav from those TIU girls I was dying to workout with when the New Year kicked off.

  3. Speaking of stretching. Here's a killer deep stretch from T-25 for when you're ready to dig deep and open up those tight muscles. Maybe on day three of your post-sickness workouts.

  4. Ayo, PiYo. We all know I'm a fan, because I've written about this time and time before. It's the perfect low-impact workout that will get you sweating and your heart pumping, without feeling like you've gone overboard {i.e. want to puke}. The aptly named PiYo Sweat is my favorite for the second or third day back into a workout post-sickness.

  5. Can you believe I'm saying...core?! I know it seems a little odd - focusing on your stomach when you've been hunched over and barely fueling the thing for a week. But, that's exactly why. My back always kills after a sickness because I've been laying around and weakly hunched over like a pathetic little Eeyore. Working my core with some very light exercises helps me perk back up and sit like I got some sense. Try this basic plank routine and make sure to suck in your stomach to support your core. {Hi, yea, on your knees is fine. Rome wasn't build in a day, and neither are your post-sickness abs.}

All that said, my major disclaimer is — don't listen to a word I'm saying. Do what works for YOU and your body, when you're ready. If I would have jumped back in one day sooner, I'd be toast — again. I listened to my body and weened in when I was ready. For your more deep-seeded questions like, when you should or shouldn't sweat it out while sick, it's probably best to listen to the experts. {Day gig plug.}


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