Today I woke up with a terrible sore throat and stuffy nose.
The savvy thing to do would have been to make some tea and curl back up into my bed. But no,
I headed out the door in hopes that running in the freezing cold would reinvigorate me and cure all.
About two miles in, I felt like I was moving slower than a sloth and could not breathe for the life of me.
I contemplated heading back to the house, but hey, am I or am I not a triathlete? Nothing can stop me, right?
So I convinced myself to keep running. Worst.Decisions.Ever.
After one mile I had to stop and walk back home. Fail.
My lungs were burning, my throat felt like sandpaper and I was feeling like the biggest IDIOT in town.
I arrived home light headed but at least the agony was over. I brewed me some honey, lemon and ginger tea (recipe below) and went back to bed. Which is where I should have stayed all along.
Considering that cold (and flu) season is in full swing - and the poor judgement on my part this morning - I thought it would be a good idea to discuss whether it’s to OK to exercise while sick.
We all know that exercise is key to good health, but there are times when your body needs a break.
Having to slow down when you’re sick is Mother Nature’s way of saying don’t push it man, just chill.
Our bodies already are battling against an illness and that takes energy. It’s not wise to put extra stress on them.
Want to exercise while sick? Doctors recommend to follow the above/below neck rule.
If the symptoms are above the neck, it’s ok to engage in a moderate physical activity.
Above the neck symptoms usually include the common cold, runny nose, nasal congestion, minor sore throat, sneezing, tearing eyes and a mild headache.
You aren’t feeling well, but still want to exercise? If the symptoms are above the neck you can still do it.
You need to lower your expectations about what you can do though, and you shouldn’t push too hard.
Any below the neck symptom is a big no-no. Fever, shortness of breath or chest congestion, body aches, heart burning, or feeling dizzy or lightheaded when you stand up: do not exercise.
Pretty clear-cut rule, right? Guess I got it wrong this morning.
Whenever I feel something coming or I’m already sick, I make this honey, lemon and ginger tea.
Usually, I manage to curb the cold before it takes hold, and when it’s too late, this tea not only gives relief, but also works on stimulating the immune system and warms me up quite a bit.
I feel that this tea helps cure what ails me.
The lemon and ginger help clear sinuses and honey is the best for soothing the scratchy throat and relieving cough symptoms. It really works the magic.
I’ve been known to add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the tea - which helps a lot with the sore throat. I must warn you though, it’s kinda hardcore.
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon
1 tablespoon raw organic honey, plus more to tales
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Put ginger in a teapot or medium bowl. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over it and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
In the meantime, in a mug combine lemon juice and honey (and cayenne pepper, if using.) Strain the ginger tea into the mug. Stir to dissolve the honey. Taste and add more honey or lemon if you like.