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Q. I just had the flu. What precautions do I need to take starting my workout back up?
A. We’ve been lucky so far. Two of my children had the stomach flu for about 24 to 48 hours. The rest of us have been escaping the flu. I hope this article doesn’t jinx that!
First of all, when you have the flu or are running any kind of fever … STAY HOME!
I can understand that you have to go to work, but people should really take a break from their workout schedule when they are sick.
Your body is already having a hard time fighting the flu or any other ailment as it is. Working out will only mean that it takes you longer to get over whatever you are dealing with.
I remember a time when I was stubborn and went to work anyway. I actually taught a class. I was nice enough to let my class know that I was under the weather. I started with a low-grade fever. After class, my fever spiked to 103 degrees! It really threw my body for a loop and it seemed that it took a lot longer to get back in the swing of things.
Even in this day and age, it is hard for scientists to exactly pinpoint which strain of the flu is going to hit this time. As most of you know, this year, they weren’t correct. The flu vaccine did not prevent what is going on right now. However, if you start feeling bad and you get to your doctor soon enough they can test you for the flu and give you medicine to speed up your recovery time.
After you are feeling better, it is normal for your body to feel weak. You haven’t done much and probably haven’t eaten much, either. All your body’s energy was fighting the flu. So when you do decide to come back and work out, please take it easy.
Overdoing it can throw you right back into feeling sick again. You have to give your body a chance to recover. It is always important to hydrate when you are working out but when you are coming back from the flu it is extremely important as the flu and/or fever dehydrates you.
By taking it easy, I mean 10 to 20 minutes walking on the track or treadmill. Maybe some floor exercises and some extensive stretching. If you are feeling better the next day you can increase your intensity and add some exercises. (Don’t go crazy!) Give your body at least one to two weeks to get back in the swing of things.
I hope I don’t get the flu. Three of my fitness staff members have had it. Each one of them came to work sick. I appreciate their dedication to the YMCA, but we sent them home. Not only did they look like they were ready to fall over, you don’t want to be responsible for getting lots of other people sick.
Wash your hands frequently. Thoroughly clean surfaces you come in contact with such as phones and door knobs, and try to eat a healthy and well balanced meal. After all, if you take the utmost care of your body, your immune system will be able to work a lot harder for you. Stay well!
Contact Ester Hoeben with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or ehoeben@salisburypost.com.

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