Truth & What to do when you can’t work out

It’s been a while since my last post, and one of the reasons why is because I came down with some sort of mystery illness. Without going into nearly two weeks of detail, I’ll just say that I had a fever – on and off – ranging from 99 to 103.9 for 12 days. After one trip to urgent care and three doctor’s appointments, they still don’t know what was wrong with me. Hopefully my blood work will have some indication of what it was. BUT! I’m feeling much much better now, thank goodness.

Being sick for nearly two weeks straight was a little bit of a wake-up call for me, and I thought it might be a good topic for T&F. I’ve written before about when it’s okay not to work out – and that was mostly socially oriented,  but this is more about being physically unable.

Of course, the first half of my illness made it completely impossible for me to work out or even consider it. I had to call my Mom on night two to ask her to come walk my dog for me, because I couldn’t stop shivering for long enough. But toward the end of week one, I did start to feel better, mostly from the time I woke up to around early afternoon until the fever came back. In those windows of feeling better, I wanted to do all of the stuff normal me does. One of those main things, of course, is work out.

When I made it to the doctor early into week two, he forbade me from any exercise whatsoever (you know I asked him specifically). Two days later at a specialist, she agreed and even had to say, “I’m sure you’re losing muscle mass, but don’t worry, it’ll come back quickly.” Thanks a lot.

I don’t know if any of you have had some sort of illness that knocks you down for a while – maybe Mono or something like that – but I certainly hadn’t before. I can also imagine that having a broken bone somewhere would be equally frustrating, although in a different way. You want so badly to feel better – to be able to back to 100 percent and do what you’re used to doing, but you just can’t. As I started to feel better, I was dying to get some exercise and resume my normal regimen. I could feel myself losing weight, and not in a good way. I lost nearly five pounds in 13 days. Mind you, I didn’t move very much the entire time, so I’m guessing it’s pretty much all muscle. I am, however, caught up on a number of Netflix shows.

image1-2Today is day 13, and I feel so much better. I do feel at 100 percent, actually, and I didn’t have a fever at all yesterday. It’s taking quite the self restraint to not do even just a little workout to maintain the muscle I do still have, because I know it’ll be a trial getting it all back. It doesn’t help that the view from my apartment happens to encompass my gym. While I’m sitting on my couch Netflix bingeing, I swear my gym is taunting me.

However, I haven’t exercised, and I don’t plan to until Monday if I’m still feeling recovered then. It’s not worth inviting the fever back. Some people might scoff and say it’s a gift to be told by your doctor not to work out, but when you work hard every workout every week, two weeks off doesn’t feel like a gift. It almost feels like a punishment.

3526713693_7b692de907_zSo, what have I been doing? In a situation like this, or maybe with a broken bone or something else preventing you from exercise, all I think you can do is control the other aspects of your life that keep you healthy. I’ve been eating extremely healthy, making sure to get lots of protein so that my muscle loss stays to a minimum. I’ve been walking a little bit to try and keep my circulation flowing. I’ve also been making sure to get as much sleep as possible. And while I have certainly lost muscle mass (why is it always in my butt first??), I’ve held onto quite a bit, likely because of proper nutrition.

More than anything, this short stint feeling terrible for longer than I have before has reminded me just how awesome it is to feel healthy. Once my fever stayed away for a whole day, I could have cried I was so happy to have one day fever and pain free and to get a full night’s rest. It’s been a huge reminder not to take being healthy for granted. It’s so important to take time to support your health so you don’t end up later in life with sicknesses that could have been prevented.500f8e60207d45357dc24817f6f481ba

Getting some crazy virus can happen to anyone – even the healthiest of us. I’m guessing I got this on an airplane. Being in good shape and eating right to support a healthy immune system will help you through a nasty virus like I had. All I can say is thank goodness for muscle memory, and I can’t wait for Monday to come around so I can get back on the horse, as they say.

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