My Light Movement Strategy to Get Well Sooner

You’ve probably caught a flu or a cold before. We all know that the best possible move now is to rest until you feel fine again. And we have all heard of the tried and tested tricks like drinking tea, eating loads of vitamins, etc.
While rest is key on sick days, I feel that incorporating light movement improves my recovery. Especially for those working with the laptop on their lap, it is important to counteract the lack of movement with well-dosed physical activity.

Since I got sick last Monday my daily step count and overall physical activity have decreased significantly. To stop my body from rusting and get back into my workout rhythm, I stay as active as possible – respecting that what I most need is rest. Here’s what I usually do to feel less shitty during sick days – probably it works for you too. Please note that I’m not a doctor and this is no medical advice. It’s simply what I do to get back on track.

Step 1: Rest

On the worst days, when the sickness hits the hardest, I rest. Even if I tried to move my body last Tuesday my fever wouldn’t have let me. Especially with increased body temperature the last thing you want is over-exhaust your body.

Step 2: Mobility snacks

On Wednesday I already felt a little better. To feel less old and rusty and counteract the back and joint pain from lying around all day and night, I implemented low-level mobility snacks. Body stretches, rotational movements, etc. If you have no idea what movements you could do search for “easy mobility routine” on YouTube.

Step 3: A 30-minute walk
Now on Thursday, when I’m writing this article, I feel relatively fit. That’s when I usually combine those mobility snacks with one or two 30-minute walks in the fresh air (I just got back from a morning walk, it really does wonders).

Step 4: Cardiovascular-friendly strength training
The first day I feel at 100% again (hopefully tomorrow) I get back to strength training. Getting back into my workout rhythm ASAP is not only my number one rule to staying consistent over the years but also increases productivity regarding other life or work tasks. What is very important here is to go easy on your heart. This means you should avoid exercises or training methods that keep your heart rate up for too long. For me, a mix of compound strength exercises like squats or push-ups while doubling the rest times is the perfect strategy for that day.

Step 5: Getting back into the normal rhythm
If I still feel good the day after Step 4, I get back into my usual training rhythm, implementing also cardio and conditioning training.

Remember: You will never be consistent forever. No matter how hard you try, sooner or later a cold, flu or your busy work schedule will kill your streak. Always getting back to consistency as soon as you’ve lost track is what decides whether you’ll be sustainably fit and active.