Guest post by Beth Learn
Maybe people look at me and think, “Wow, she’s so fit and healthy. I bet she never gets sick. Her kids probably walk on water, too.”
Nope. Just because my face and fitness brand – Fit2B (you should check it out) is on the computers and rokus of families all over the world, that doesn’t mean that my own family is exempt from common bugs and germs. My kids bring home colds and tummy ickies just like yours do, and here’s how I fight it and survive it:
Not perfectly, that’s for sure.
It’s called netflix and not working out. I’ll start there. Yeah, I know you were hoping for this amazing miraculous remedy involving the perfect blend of essential oils and a certain temperature of water baths combined with my husband’s “special tea” recipe, weren’t you.
Well, fellow mama friends, most of you would gasp at what’s in my husband’s favorite cold remedy, and as for EO’s… I’m a fan, but I’m no expert. What I am an expert at, though, is fitness and knowing when to do more and when to do less.
So here’s my amazing list…
The bottom line is rest. Take what you want to take to feel better, but also give your body TIME to relax. Having a cold or the flue or montezuma’s revenge really takes energy to fight, and yet we moms think we have to be superwoman and still run the carpool, do the dishes, homeschool the kids (or help with homework), prepare the meals – really, is that a good idea? – make the beds, do the laundry… STOP!!!!! Call in some help, for pity’s sake!
And this brings me to my second list.
2. Ask for help
4. Delegate from the couch while resting
5. Give yourself permission to have a few “compromise” convenience foods (whatever that means in your family)
6. Lots of resting
Are you getting the point?
You won’t get better if you don’t give yourself time to heal.
Maybe I just deal with this mantra in fitness a lot: I need to work harder to feel and look better. No, you don’t. More often that kicking your own booty, you need to unwind, have some downtime, reduce the pressure in your life. Especially when you’re coming down with something. On those days when you just aren’t feeling 100% maybe tune into that and give yourself a break.
I tell my clients all the time, “Honor your body today, so that your body honors you tomorrow.” If you push past your limits today, your body will not-so-graciously remind you of your limits tomorrow, people! Can I get a witness?
This brings to my final point: How do you know when to work out or not when you have a cold?
I get that question all the time! And it makes me feel cheeky, because HELLOOOO!!! Are you a glutton for punishment? This is like asking, “How much should I stress my immune system when my immune system is already stressed?” Because a strenuous workout is stressful. So don’t push it when you are getting sick or when you are sick.
Key words: Pushing & Strenuous. A gentle, therapeutic routine can be just that – therapy. But you don’t need to hit your maximum heart rate when you feel a cold coming on. Your body just doesn’t need that added strain!
Most of motherhood and family life is often strenuous; just ask the mom who has to shop for groceries with a baby in a sling wrap, two toddlers in the cart, and one holding (read: pulling) the cart every which way. That’s a strenuous workout in my mind, and you can quote me on that. (Beth’s note: A-freakin-men to THIS!) So I really try to keep my routines at Fit2B very relaxing and low-key because the last thing I need is more hype and stress in my life! What I need is to get a break! Amen?
As the nurturers of our homes, we ladies don’t get many breaks. Not really. Even if we carve out time for rest, it won’t really happen which is why I feel confident as I lovingly yell at you to REST, WOMAN, REST!!
Because I know you won’t end up sitting on your boo-tay all day. That would be an impossibility. We all know that sitting down invites a crisis, right! Laugh and cry with me, please.
Okay back to working out: In the fitness world, the packaged quote for sick people is to tell them, “If it’s from the chin up, suck it up. If it’s below your head, pretend you’re dead.” This means if you have a head cold, doing a light work out might actually help. If it’s in your throat or chest or belly, it’s time to lay low. It also means we don’t want to see you at the club because we don’t want your germs. Which is another reason I started filming workouts for home fitness peeps.
Light workout means walking, stretching, stringing a few chores together, milking a goat, gentle core activation… you know, light labor stuff. If jogging is easy for you, that could also qualify as “light labor” but you and I cannot be friends, because I won’t be able to keep up. Or maybe I will, since I’m a race walker. Maybe I’ll leave you in the dust. So we still can’t be friends!
P.S. I love writing for this blog, because I get to cut loose and be cheeky. Like Beth. I love her! Don’t you?
– No running marathons or insane cross craziness when your body really needs to rest.
– Say yes to a lighter schedule and some relaxing walks, stretching and long movies or books.
– Say no to surprise schedule changes, new recipes, visits from the in-laws (unless there is housecleaning offered) and most extra-curriculars.
– Say yes to a week of downtime, and know without a doubt that you will recover faster by listening to your body and honoring your limits…
…and let the kids do the dishes even if they do them “wrong” because they love you and want to help you get better. And it’s not about “right.” It’s about rest. The dishes will wait. Your health won’t. So take care of yourself, sweet friend, so you can get back to caring for others.