Being a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, it’s not “if” but “when” will I get sick. Last week was the sickest I’ve been in almost a year. Snot, hacking cough, and a fog covered my mind…exercise was the last on it.
“But you’re a trainer, you should never get sick.”
Well, that’s easy to say when you don’t work in a cesspool for germs or enjoy the occasional Sunday Funday.
My fitness goals are pretty straight forward: I want to get stronger, be more flexible, and look prettier. Obviously exercise is not an option when you’re sick, so maintenance is the name of the game at a time when you are susceptible to reverse your fit progress.
Here are 5 things that helped me maintain when I was too sick to progress that that you can do, too.
1. Recovery: Foam Roll and Meditation
Your nervous system has two functions: rest/digest and fight/flight. Get some rest is the best prescription when you’re sick, but you can elicit a much deeper resting response through calming the mind and body. I use the foam roller and meditation.
2. Eat clean, but not excessive
Food is fuel for life. You’re obviously not going to do a ton of physical activity on sick days, so why would you fill up with excess calories? Also, preserve your lean muscle mass by eating whole foods that are high in protein.
Can’t hold anything down? Make a super shake.
The DCF “Sick- With It” Shake:
1 Frozen banana
¼ cup Spinach
1 scoop Vanilla whey protein
2 tbsp Almond butter
1.5 cups Coconut milk
2 tbsp Cacao nibs
Can’t even hold down a shake? Supplement with branched chain amino acids, multi-vitamin, Greens tablets, zinc, magnesium, and miscellaneous performance enhancing supplements you currently take (creatine, beta alanine, etc).
This is one area you may be able to progress in during your sick days. Even if it’s a quarter of the time you’d normally be spending in the gym, you’ll notice your increased mobility when you eventually get back to training.
Focus on deep diaphragmatic breathing. Follow your breath and note the sensation as air enters and leaves your body. Your physiologic rest response will enhance while you work on your core’s “incompressible cyclinder.” For more on this, check out last week’s blog on breathing: http://dylanconradfitness.com/just-breathe-three-breathing-techniques-for-better-results/
Because you’re not going to get any less sick doing hill sprints! Recover more and recover better.