Let’s face it. “Sick” happens, even to CrossFitters. You can be spot on with your diet, consistent in the box, and hydrated, but still get sick – especially this time of year!
So, what’s the right thing to do when sick? Here’s what not to do.
1) Don’t train hard, pretending you aren’t sick.
2) Don’t completely give up on your fitness. You can actually use your sick time to move your fitness forward.
Let’s address #2 from above. Use your sick time to get better. What do I mean? “REST and MOBILIZE”. Most people don’t want to leave the house when sickness strikes, and I know that feeling! However, if you can leave the house, use this forced “down time” to work on mobility during your usual class time. If you are contagious, don’t come to the gym obviously. But even if you have a fever and are contagious, you can mobilize at home!
If you are stuck at home, I recommend trying to keep your routine as much as possible. If you come to a morning class, use that same time at home to stretch and mobilize. Heck, you could even do air squats, sit ups, and push ups if you feel good enough! Keeping your normal “routine” during your sick-time will help you get back into the gym once you are better. If you aren’t contagious and want to come to the gym, you should do that!
Coming in for a 30 – 45 minute stretching and mobility session will allow you to focus on problem areas. Tight shoulders, calves or hips? Foam Roll, voodoo band, and stretch your problem areas. This will make you move better and more fluidly than before; and your future self will thank you for it. Feel like you need to get your heart pumping a little bit? Hop on a bike for a few minutes, just don’t go overboard with it.
Don’t stress about not working out while sick; you’re resting, you’re working your mobility, and you will be back at it in a few days.
If you view your illness as an opportunity to work on quality movement, you may surprise yourself with better technique and speed when you come back. Remember, CrossFit isn’t just about intense workouts. You also need to move well!
Until next time – stay healthy, and train hard!