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“Don’t sweat nobody fever” — Not Even Yours
By Orlando Griffith
WE HAVE ALL HEARD the local saying “Don’t sweat nobody fever”, and we understand it to mean you shouldn’t be fighting another person’s battles, especially if it’s really none of your business. It’s worse if you weren’t asked to get involved, and the person whose behalf you are advocating cares less than you do. Well what about sweating your own fever? We’ve heard from the old folks you should sweat out the fever, we’ve perhaps taken some homeopathic remedy to solve the problem. Whether it’s orange peel tea, garlic tea, ginger tea or shining bush tea, we’ve probably done it all for relief. But what about exercising during illness and sweating the fever that way?
Runners, athletes and avid exercisers alike have a difficult time taking time off to nurse themselves back to health when they’re coming down with or experiencing an illness. I myself know the feeling when time off is needed but I want to stay on schedule and not lose my training rhythm. The withdrawal from the training high is real if you’ve been consistent but often times the symptoms and manifestations of illness are too real to deny that you should rest. Most medical practitioners caution against training during a cold or flu. If you decide to push through, hoping you’ll perhaps morph into a superhero or gain extra kudos with your peers, you’ll be sorry, because you may end up prolonging the symptoms of your illness, and you’ll take longer to regain the fitness level that you were at before. I also caution my clients and athletes against even stepping foot into the training facility when they’re ill, although I appreciate the effort for trying to come.
Even if you’re the most fit and healthy athlete, on a daily basis your body is fighting infections, sometimes too small to recognize, but those times when it is recognizable it needs resources and energy to fight it off; therefore, during illness, source your energy from whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and good complex carbs to provide a steady supply of sustained energy. Although you may not feel thirsty while experiencing a fever or severe cold, increase your water intake to keep you cool. Your water is lost through perspiration, mucus during coughing and sneezing and, if you’re lucky; through diarrhoea (Joy)! Rest is perhaps the most integral aspect of recovery during an illness, and a good night’s sleep gives the body the opportunity to go into overdrive, focusing its attention to the areas under duress.
Again, most doctors would caution against working out during illness because it can escalate into something a lot more serious that may affect the lungs and respiratory tract. Don’t push it!
I would advise the few who would still decide to feel it out and do their own thing to follow this rule of thumb; according to doctors, if there’s no fever, where there are only symptoms above the neck, like a sore throat, runny nose or congestion, you should take it easy.
Finally, one more factor to consider is overtraining, which could be your cause of illness. Overtraining is caused by excess exercising, and this can lead to overtraining syndrome. This neuroendocrine disorder is known for its association to poor performance during competition and training where muscle soreness, persistent fatigue, crankiness, being frequently ill, not being able to recover from workouts quickly enough and disturbed sleeping patterns are a few of its symptoms . The biggest indicator is the upper respiratory infections that occur during prolonged sessions of endurance training. The general recreational population of exercisers and non-athletes wouldn’t need to worry so much about that, but it’s good to know.
Remember if you’re training smart you’re going to have peaks and valleys and opportunities for rest and regeneration within a training plan, therefore training shouldn’t get you sick. Otherwise take steps to continuously stay in great health. Good luck!
Orlando Griffith is an Athletic Development and Performance Specialist. [email protected]
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