This is what my life has come to over the last 24 hours.
Sarah’s head cold 2012 is here and in charge.
I am thankful, however, that the cold is basically focused only above the neck. I have no sore throat, my lungs feel strong, no cough. It’s basically all focused in my nasal passages. I’ve only had to deal with a stuffy nose, sneezing, and headaches. Not really being able to breathe out of my nose has definitely drained some of my energy, but I feel alright overall.
I woke up this morning sort of eager to get moving. I wasn’t tired. I felt okay (other than not being able to breathe normally) and wanted to do SOMETHING! I am not a good sick person. I am the type of person who’s first thought when I sit down is usually “what else should I be doing right now?”. I don’t rest. There is no such thing as full relaxation. I like to feel productive at all times. If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, I may seem like I’m doing nothing, but I usually have a million other things going on at the same time. A load of laundry is probably in the washer, the dishwasher is probably running, and my laptop is open to some sort of to-do list. Sufficient to say I don’t like doing nothing, so this whole rest thing has been tough over the last day or so.
As I started to clean the apartment this morning, I noticed that my nasal passages started to open up. MIRACULOUS – I CAN BREATHE! I realized that maybe working out was a possibility today. I always knew the “neck” rule with working out while sick; if your symptoms are above the neck (stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, sneezing) it’s okay to work out, but if your symptoms are below the neck (cough, shortness of breath, body aches) no gym for you. I did a little googling this morning and found an article from 2008 in the NYT all about whether you should work out with a cold or not.
Since my symptoms are all above the neck, I knew I would be physically able to work out, but is it a good idea? Would resting help me recover better from my cold faster, and would working out hinder my recovery? Maybe not…
Once again, Dr, Kaminsky and his colleagues infected volunteers with a rhinovirus. This time, the subjects were 34 young men and women who were randomly assigned to a group that would exercise with their colds and 16 others who were assigned to rest.
The group that exercised ran on treadmills for 40 minutes every other day at moderate levels of 70 percent of their maximum heart rates.
Every 12 hours, all the subjects in the study completed questionnaires about their symptoms and physical activity. The researchers collected the subjects’ used facial tissues, weighing them to assess their cold symptoms.
The investigators found no difference in symptoms between the group that exercised and the one that rested. And there was no difference in the time it took to recover from the colds. But when the exercisers assessed their symptoms, Dr. Kaminsky said, “people said they felt O.K. and, in some cases, they actually felt better.”
I thought this article was really interesting. It seems that working out if you have a head cold does not hinder recovery from that cold, in fact, some people actually felt better. That’s awesome news – especially since my last long run before the half marathon is tomorrow.
So with that, it looks like I will be working out today. I’ll be taking it pretty easy; maybe a 2 mile run on the treadmill and some weight training, but nothing crazy. Not HIIT today, no hills, no speed intervals, just a nice and easy workout.
Readers: How do you deal with being sick? Do you indulge in resting, or are you just restless like me? What is your favorite remedy for a cold?