How to get back to training after being ill

The winter months are closing in and we’re all bracing ourselves for a pretty intense spell of teeth-chattering cold weather. So, you know what that means? Those dreaded cold and flu germs will start to spread like wildfire and your daily dose of multivitamins might not be enough to save you from them. Fear not though, this is usually just a temporary setback so don’t start avoiding the work kitchen and hounding your boss for home working. Your energy levels will be back to full capacity before you know it and you can reclaim your old lifestyle.


One thing that certainly will suffer, is your fitness regime. Your energy will need to be used in your body’s fight against the virus and subsequent recovery. Therefore, you can’t expect your body to feel up to lifting weights and running for miles. You’re going to need some time off to reset and rest up. Whilst the resting stage is very important, getting back on the horse is also just as important if you don’t want to lose your fitness mojo. However, if you do have the motivation to get straight back into training then you can’t expect to go as hard as before, straight away. On the flipside, if you’re completely struggling to summon any motivation to get your trainers back on, then the below steps are for you.


  1. Set low expectations


When it comes to fitness goals and aspirations, you’re told to set the bar high and push yourself harder every session in an effort to achieve them. This is generally a great philosophy to follow for most of the year but in the aftermath of a virus, it is not!


Your strength will have decreased along with your endurance and focus. So, you can’t expect to lift with the same intensity at the same weight or dust off a 5km run in 20 minutes. Go into your next lifting or cardiovascular session with the expectation to perform at less than your usual capacity. Lower the weight and focus on higher rep ranges to reintroduce this stimulus on your body. The same goes for your runs, hikes, jogs, climbs etc. Allow for a longer period of completion.


Using a resistance band set can be a great way to get the blood flowing in a controllable state. The bands allow you keep constant tension on the muscle, which means you can make lighter weight feel more challenging. Our resistance band set is the perfect tool to help you achieve this


  1. Don’t train to failure


Following on from the first point, you want to ease yourself back into fitness as delicately as you can, in order to reduce the chance of injury and overtraining. This means that training to failure is not a sensible idea. Training to failure is going to put the maximum amount of stress on your muscles which is going to lead to longer recovery times. You want to keep things light and leave a few reps in the tank. Even if think you can squeeze an extra mile out of your evening run, save it for the next time.

Running with a treadmill set up is an effective way to train this way, as it allows you to drop the intensity if things start to get too tough. We have a great range of home treadmills that come equipped with various workout programs on our website.


  1. Optimise your diet


During the recovery process, your body needs the right kind of nutrients to aid in its fight against infection. Your body also needs more calories than usual in order to be provided with sufficient energy. So, don’t stray away from your meals! Eat balanced meals at regular intervals and try to incorporate iron along with vitamins A + B into your diet. Stay away from highly processed foods and look towards leafy veg, whole grains and fish as an alternative. This will give you slow releasing energy to get you through your cardio or gym session.


  1. Make daily to-do list


Another great way to get back into the swing of things is to place a focus on exercise within your daily plan. Exercising might have been second nature to you before getting ill but that doesn’t mean it’ll be as easy now. If you start making daily to-do lists and incorporating fitness into them then you’ll start to re-affirm the importance of it in your life.


  1. Prioritise sleep


Sleep should be prioritised in everyday life but even more so when you’re recovering from an illness. Even if you are feeling better, your body still has some more work to do to get back to being 100%. Quality sleep will help you feel more refreshed and give you more inclination to go and train. Developing a regular sleep schedule is a brilliant way to help improve your overall sleep. Start going to bed at the same time and set your alarm for the same time each morning. Avoid having any caffeine within 5 hours of going to bed and switch on the blue light filters on your devices 2 hours before bed. If you want to track the amount of sleep you’re getting each night, you could use one of our W100 smart watches that accurately records your sleeping cycles.


  1. Switch to home workouts


Making the switch to home workouts might also be worth some consideration. Home workouts allow you to train at your own pace with no one around to influence you. You can start slow and build up your routine once you become more confident and are back to full recovery. What’s more, you can do all of this from the comfort of your home! If this sounds like an interesting prospect then we can certainly kit you out with all of the gear you need!

If cardiovascular equipment is what you’re after, then our diverse range of cardio equipment will be a great fit! If weights are more suitable for your fitness goals then our resistance bands or dumbbells might be a great addition.


So, there you have it. Don’t be too hard on yourself the first week back into exercising and make sure to ease back into it. Get your rest and fill your body with good food.


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Theo Lawrence

Digital Marketing at JLL Fitness

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