Sunday Sweat Talk {Exercising While Sick}

Morning! Did you remember to spring forward last night? I’m bummed about the lost hour of sleep, but totally psyched for sunnier afternoons as we approach springtime. It’s almost here!

Anyways, time for our Sunday chat.

Sunday Sweat Talk

Let’s talk about…

Exercising while sick

This week I’ve had a pretty nasty cold. It started on Wednesday afternoon at work while I was hibernating away in the tiniest of rooms preparing for the rollout of a new presentation called Be Remarkable. By the time I got home on Wednesday night, I felt achy and knew if I didn’t get a full night’s rest that I’d be feeling much worse. Since Thursday I had my 6am class, the presentation in the afternoon, and a wellness networking event at night, I knew that something had to give. I knew I just needed to listen to my body and get that extra hour or two of sleep, so I arranged for a friend to sub my Thursday morning class (thanks, Aloisia!). While it helped, I’ve still been sniffling, sneezing, and congested. Gross.

Because I haven’t been feeling 100%, I decreased the intensity of my workouts a bit this week. I mean, it’s awfully hard to power through a tough sweat sesh when you can’t breathe.

Here’s how my week in workouts looked:

Weekly Workouts

  • Sunday: Gym date with my friend Ashley. I lifted for chest/back and did my medicine ball ab circuit.
  • Monday: 30 minutes on the spin bike on my own + three rounds of the stability ball core strength moves from this workout <—I did the ab moves in a 15/12/10 rep scheme, and they left my abs sore the next day for those of you who commented last week you love sore abs!
  • Tuesday: Two A Day Tuesday. I did a modified kickboxing then taught a very loose Tabata class in my class. I say “loose” because I was definitely not doing a good job keeping track of time.
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Rest (not feeling well)
  • Friday: 50 minutes steady cardio (was craving that to work through some of my congestion)
  • Saturday: At home fitness DVD instead of heavier lifting (decreased time and intensity)

So how do I decide whether to rest or exercise when I’m not feeling well?

Typically I go by what I like to call “the neck check.” If the symptoms of my sickness are located above the neck, then I usually will continue to exercise.

Above the neck symptoms include:
–a sore throat
–a stuffy nose

However, if the symptoms of my sickness are located below the neck, I will declare it a rest day not only to give myself proper time to recover and feel better, but also so I don’t contaminate the gym and equipment with my germs!

Below the neck symptoms include:
–chest congestion / bad coughing
–body aches

When I do exercise through any above the neck symptoms, I definitely decrease the intensity of my workouts like I mentioned in my workout log above. I stick with lighter to moderate intensity so I can still work up a sweat and try to drain some nasal congestion without overdoing it. I know that pushing too hard with heavy and intense exercise may actually reduce my immune function, make me feel worse, and delay my feeling better. Exercising at max intensity with above the neck symptoms is never my goal!

Of course, everyone is different, so the best recommendation I have is to just listen to your body, stay hydrated, and rest up so you can jump back into it in no time.

Readers, time to talk! Is anyone else battling that cold that’s going around? What’s your general rule of thumb for working out while sick? Does anyone else abide by the neck check?

For more Sunday Sweat Talk topics:

Best Body Bootcamp + Weekly Workouts

Good morning!

Don’t forget to start your day with today’s Ab Challenge, a Monday morning ab blaster.  If you forgot to do this right when you got out of bed this morning, no worries… there is still plenty of time left in the day to squeeze it in.  Takes less than five minutes, so really… there’s no excuse NOT to.

Monday Morning Ab Burner Week 2

Don’t forget to check in on either the blog or my Facebook page once you’ve done the core work for today!

Let’s discuss Best Body Bootcamp.

best body bootcamp

Week 1 of Best Body Bootcamp (BBB) Round 4 kicks off this week.  For those who haven’t read my past posts on BBB, it’s pretty much awesome.  Tina is another blogger and personal trainer who runs the virtual bootcamp program, and while this is her fourth time holding a session, this is the third time I’ve participated.  Each session is eight weeks long, it’s divided into four phases (each phase is two weeks), and it only costs $25.  Score!  The workouts consist of both strength and cardio, and each week’s program is very flexible so I’m able to adapt it to my busy schedule, including working them around and into my fitness classes.  Tina also is amazing and includes links to videos of each exercise, both modified and more advanced options for each move, and at home versions of each move as well.

If you are wondering why the heck I would want to take part in something like this since I am a fitness instructor and personal trainer myself, well, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone else plan my fitness regime for once instead of always being the one planning.  Plus I love getting new ideas for different exercises to use in class and apply to the concepts I teach.  And I’ve felt amazing each time I’ve participated.  It’s just refreshing!

Also, this time around Tina included some fitness tests that we could do before the session starts, that we can do halfway through, and some to do at the end.  I love the idea of measurable progress, and I am pumped to see how my body progresses throughout.  Here are my results from the weekend:

Lower Body Strength
Hold a wall squat for as long as possible with good form.  I held one without weights for 2:32.

Upper Body Strength
Complete as many pushups as possible in good form in 60 seconds.  I did 28 regular pushups.

Core Strength
Hold an elbow plank for as long as possible with good form.  4:05!

Elbow Plank

Power Fitness
Tina had us pick one power move out of burpees, jump squats, air jacks, or jumping jacks to see how many we could complete with good form in 60 seconds.  I chose burpees and was able to do 23.

Cardiovascular Fitness
There were a few options here, but I did a timed mile on the treadmill and came in at 7:52.

You’ll see some mentioning of these and how I included them in my weekly workouts below.  I loved “taking a step back” to take a look at how I’m doing in the different areas.  That is much, much, MUCH more important to me than the numbers on the scale.

Anyways, all this being said, you’ll see a lot more mentioning of BBB over the next few weeks.

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts
Last week I had some really, really awesome workouts.

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday:  Took Lauren’s cycle class on New Year’s Eve
  • Tuesday:  New Year’s Day sweat sesh with my gym friends!  30 minutes of Monique’s kickboxing, 30 minutes of my bosu blast partner workout, and 30 minutes of Liz’s gliding disc strength work.  I also did my first timed plank for my 31 Day Abs Challenge, and came in at 4:05!
  • Wednesday:  Off from a scheduled workout.  Did my 100 stability ball crunches for the abs challenge before bed, and a lot of hip stretches since I was so sore from Tuesday’s ass kicking.
  • Thursday:  Taught a countdown workout in my 6am class.
  • Friday:  Proud that I got up and went again in the morning!  I did this workout on a cycle bike, with the 20 second sprint as a seated sprint, and the 40 second recovery as a run in high third with increased resistance.  After cardio, I did both the power fitness (burpees) and lower body strength (wall sit) tests.  I finished up my morning workout with my back exercises from the abs challenge, and called it a day.
  • Saturday:  Did the mile fitness test on the treadmill, followed by the upper body strength (pushups) fitness test, followed by some random other moves and hip stretching.

This Week’s Workouts
Here’s how I’ve planned to fit it all in!

  • Sunday:  Did a 20 minute cardio interval workout on the elliptical (5 minute warmup > then 7 rounds of 30 seconds at resistance 10, 30 seconds at resistance 12, and 30 seconds at resistance 8 > then 5 minute cooldown) followed by three rounds of core strength circuits.  Both from BBB.
  • Monday:  Morning ab burner + BBB cardio interval workout.
  • Tuesday:  Another timed plank + Liz’s kickboxing class + teaching strength workout A in class
  • Wednesday:  Off except for ab ladder before bed
  • Thursday:  Teaching strength workout C + ab Tabata
  • Friday:  Either off or cardio intervals or a class (chest from the ab challenge either way)
  • Saturday:  Either off or cardio intervals or a class

I’m psyched!

How are your workouts going so far this year?  Any other boot-campers out there excited?  How’s everyone doing in the Abs challenge?

Have a great Monday!