From the Desk of Dr. Len
Exercising when you’re Sick
Dr. Len Lopez – Friday, December 27, 2013
Having recently dealth with a couple of sick children, I’m often asked if it is good or bad as an adult to workout when you are sick. The simple answer is Yes, but you have to be careful and NOT overdo it!
Exercising helps move all the lymph (all the dead byproducts of infected cells ) out of your body. And the only way it moves is when your muscles contract, so the more muscle contraction you can do the better you are at remove those toxins and byproducts out of the body. That being said, lying in bed all day when your sick doesn’t help move that infected sewage (lymph) out of your body.
Our arteries can contract, which helps move blood, but the lymph system – Doesn’t! So pretty much any type of muscle contraction will help, which is why simply walking can be so helpful when you are sick. Yes, I know how hard it is to get up and move around, but walking outside when the sun is out is a double wammy in the positive direction.
The fact that exercise is a form of stress, you have to be careful how much you are stressing an already weakened immune system. You don’t want to over-stress your body with a hard, or semi-intense workout. Exercise can easily go from being stress reducing to stress producing, which is going to make it harder for your immune system to overcome that infection. I’m not saying you can’t do a strength training workout – but you don’t want to be stressing your body if you don’t have to.
Aerobic exercise would be my choice as the best option, but I would also include some type of upper body Movements (punching, windmills, etc…) to help contract all the muscles of your upper body and clear the lymph out of your system, especially lymph that is accumluating in your chest and under your arms.
Moving the lymph out of your system is probably the biggest benefits from exercising when dealing with an infection. Another benefit from exercise is believed to come by the temporary increase of your body temperature. An elevated temperature is how the body natural kills-off an infection, so the increased body temperature from a 10-30 minute walk could be the proverbial shot in the arm your immune system needs to help get rid of that infection.
Let’s not forget plenty of water with a squeeze of lime or lemon to help bump up your levels of vitamin C, as well as, a shot of zinc, echinacea, goldenseal and other herbs to help support your immune system. Stay away from refined sugars, which hinder your immune system and soon enough you should be able to be back at work or on the track feeling good.