SW Blog

4 Steps to Get Fit After the Flu

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Let me guess... you have the flu.  Your body aches and you haven't been able to work out for days?  I certainly hope not!  But chances are you had it last week, you have it now, or all of your friends, co-workers, and half of the celebrities on the Golden Globes have it.


We love you Meryl Streep.

Read on flu fighter and get well soon!

4 Steps to Get Fit After the Flu

(or pneumonia, sinus infections, and that nasty head cold)

1. Get Well before you Get Fit:

Boy, do I know how antsy you are to get back to your normal routine.  I had pneumonia and was stuck in bed for over a full week.  My body is still so weak it's taken me an extra week to feel like I'm ready to move again. 

That is SO challenging for me because I'm a very active person and I love to dance, take yoga, and go to the gym all the time.

But your body is sending you those signals for a reason: YOU NEED TO REST.

Make sure you take enough time to fully heal up before you attempt to work out again. Cancel your social obligations, go to bed early, chicken soup... instinctively you know the drill.

2. Listen and Reset:

When I rolled out my yoga mat for the first time in 2 weeks, I imagined I'd crank out a million chaturanga's to make up for lost time. 

Ha, how foolish!

What I really felt like doing was some work on the foam roller* (which helps to hydrate connective tissue and addresses the autonomic nervous system).  I also felt like because most of my illness was in my lungs, I wanted to open my chest and release tension in my neck.

Watch this video to see what I did:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

This might not be exactly what you need to do, but it worked for me. 

The key point here is to listen to what your body really wants to be doing, rather than what you think you should be doing.

*You can get a foam roller at your local fitness store or on amazon.

3.  Play Nice:

So, at least you are back to your training sessions or at the gym or in yoga class, but all you can think to yourself is,

"Ugh, I should be lifting more."

"My body feels so flabby."

"What happened to my powerful vinyasa flow?"

Whoa. Slow down there fast talker.  You were just really sick and your body went through a lot.  Be nice to yourself!  Every time you have one of those nasty mean thoughts, say something nice to yourself.  Your recovery time will be shorter if you think positive thoughts and play nice. 

Acknowledge everything you have done today. 

You got out of bed!

You got yourself on your yoga mat!

You made it to your session!


4. 3 Sessions and You're Back in Business:

I always say it takes 3 sessions to get back into your fitness routine.  This depends on many factors of course, but in general after the third consecutive session with appropriate rests (like a Mon, Wed, Fri plan) your body will feel like it's ready to go a la pre-flu. 

Now I'm going to put these steps to the test.  Follow Sparkes Wellness on Facebook to hear about my recovery and how I'm getting Fit after the Flu (well, actually pneumonia, but anywhoo...).

I want to know what your tips are for Getting Fit after the Flu. 

Tell me in the comments!

Categories: Fitness, Yoga, Spirit, Soul, & Inspiration

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1 Comment

Reply Lynn
11:24 AM on January 23, 2013 
Thank u for the reminders to be gentle and take care of myself.in my case, I am substituting injury. I have plantar fasciitis after hiking on ice at Zion national park and I resist restin my foot. So important to be reminded.