This is a question everyone concerned with their health and fitness has to address, especially during the flu season. To answer the question you’ve got to be able to assess your level of fatigue, your level of stress and your environment. Ask yourself these questions:
Is your energy low because you haven’t been active enough? If so, a workout might just be what you need.
Have you been too active? In that case, a day or three could be the proper course.
Have you been sleeping soundly? If it was only one night, no biggie, but if it’s been a couple nights or more, you should consider taking it easy.
Are you stressed about something? If so, it follows, you probably haven’t been sleeping well and should consider taking it easy and address the problem.
Are you surrounded by others who are ill? If you are either tired from over-activity, no sleep or stressed out and you’re around coughing and sneezing, you may want to play it safe. Taking a day or two off can save you a week or two of missed workouts and keep you from getting sick.
A simple guideline is that if you are really sick, your body is under stress, and you should rest, allowing your body to fight off the illness. Intense exercise, should be avoided, as it will place an additional stressful burden on your already stressed system. Light exercise, like walking, is generally fine, as long as you are careful and listen to your body to make sure you don’t overdo it.
If your symptoms are above your neck it’s often okay to exercise, at a lower intensity than you’re used to. This includes symptoms such as:
* Runny nose
* Nasal congestion
* Sore throat
If you have enough energy to tolerate it, increasing your body temperature by sweating from exercise will actually help to kill many viruses. The key to exercising when you’re slightly sick is to do so carefully. Prolonged intense exercise causes immunosuppression, whereas lighter-intensity exercise improves immune function and potentially reduces risk and severity of respiratory viral infections.
If your symptoms are “below your neck,” you should avoid exercise. Examples are:
* Coughing or chest congestion
* Widespread body and muscle aches
* Vomiting, upset stomach and/or stomach cramps
But no matter what your symptoms, you need to be very careful and listen to your body. If you don’t feel up to it, and all you want to do is get some rest, then that’s what your body needs. Feeling fatigued when you’re sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down so you get some much-needed rest while your body heals.
- Write down your goals
Be specific and stay focused on what you want. Place your goals where you see them daily so they’ll be in your awareness. Add to them, say them out loud.
- Believe in your goals
Be honest about what you want and believe in yourself and in your goal. Strive for it one step at a time. Be prepared to face these 3 challengers, strangers, friends/family and yourself.
- Visualize your desire
See yourself achieving your goal. You may see yourself in a picture, or in something like a movie. It may be in color or in black and white. However it is, pay attention to the details of the picture.
- Visualize using all of your senses
Pay attention to the sounds associated with your picture. Recognize how you feel in the picture. This feeling should be both emotional and physical. How does your body feel doing that something you’ve longed to do? How does that make you feel, emotionally? The more details in your picture, the better. You are sending a message to your brain that this is really happening. Before you know it, it really happens.
- Create a Plan of Action
Challenge yourself. Put a massive action plan out there. Try every possible way you think of no matter how ridiculous. Be creative. These moments will keep you motivated. Take a daily inventory of your actions. Ask yourself if your action resulted in what you wanted for yourself and for others. You can learn from it and fine tune it. Like a guitar, if one string is out of tune, you don’t throw out the guitar, you tune it.
- Get support from friends and family
Tell those that love and care for you about your goals. Simply talking about it will motivate you (as well as inspire them). They can hold you accountable, encourage you, and celebrate with you.
- Celebrate Results
Reward yourself for an accomplishment. It’ll make you, and other, feel good in addition to what you’ve achieved. This positive reinforcement will spur you to want to set another goal and celebrate it again.
- Continually progress
As you accomplish each goal, replace it with a new goal that will push you to another level. This goes back to keeping yourself challenged and avoiding boredom. Always give yourself something for which to strive.
The unhealthy foods we eat have a cumulative effect of small injury after small injury causing our bodies to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation. GMO’s, sugary and/or simple carbohydrates and processed foods with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been slowly poisoning us.
When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, our pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected whereby the extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins and injure the blood vessel wall, setting off inflammation.
When we consume excessive omega-6 fat, found mostly in fatty and hydrogenated foods cell membranes produce chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.
Excess weight from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that secrete large quantities of inflammatory friendly chemicals which worsen a high blood sugar environment. This is an environment at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, even in small quantities, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.
Eating foods closer to their natural state avoids the slow building nightmare above. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and colorful vegetables. Severely limit foods laden with GMO’s such as corn, soy, canola, and sugar. Do the same with processed foods that are made from Omega 6 oils, also corn, soy, canola or any hydrogenated oils. Use coconut oil, olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.
Many of us think we have a willpower problem with food. But what if your body is telling you to eat more because of your eating habits? Below are several reasons why you may be overeating. Are they familiar?
- Eating at different times every day. If you do, you do not have an eating rhythm which will affect your hormones and appetite.
- Eating too quickly, not relaxed. If you are you’re not allowing your brain time to process the food you eat. Slowing down and being in a relaxed state will actually help stimulate your digestive and calorie burning metabolism!
- Macronutrient imbalance. The macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats. Are you shorting or overdoing one or two? Imbalance here also affects your hormones and appetite.
- Nutrient deficiency. If you are not getting all of your nutrients your body will signal you to keep eating to attempt to give it that specific nutrient. This includes the macronutrients above, as well as your vitamins and minerals.
- Lack of quality in food in diet. If you’re eating a lot of processed, high fat, high calorie foods you are again negatively affecting your hormones and appetite.
So, it’s probably not your weak willpower but bad habits which cause you to eat too much. Slow down, relax your breathing and your body, and enjoy the taste of your food. Consume foods high in quality and variety. Eat balanced and healthy portioned meals at consistent times every day. Get into a rhythm or a routine.
Really be aware of what you are eating, when you are eating it, and the rate at which you are eating and greater satisfaction will follow. You will probably find your overeating under your control and you’ll feel great about that.