Easing back into the gym

After almost three weeks of no exercise I finally made it back to the gym this morning. I still have a slight cough but it’s so much more bearable. I can finally walk about the grocery store without coughing so hard I’m on the verge of vomiting. Small victories!

Since I’ve taken so much time off the way I work out is drastically different than it was before I got sick. I can’t just jump in and pretend that my fitness levels are where they were, so here’s my plan:

  1. Lighter weights: even though I significantly decreased the amount of weight I lifted this morning I still felt extremely weak. I wanted to make sure that above all else, my form was strong. I’m fairly confident the amount of weight I can lift will go back to normal pretty quickly but the last thing I want is to injure myself and be forced to take time off again.
  2. Less cardio: since I still have a little cough I’m monitoring my cardio closely. This morning I cycled and walked on the treadmill, and I’m going to start doing my scheduled marathon training runs in order from easiest to most difficult this week so I can really gauge how my body will handle running. Technically I should be running a 14.5K long run this week, but if I can only manage 10 or even 8 kilometers that is what I will limit myself to.
  3. Eat well: I’m not going to deny it, I am counting calories and back on my diet, but I carefully chose what I’m eating this week. Smoothies full of vitamin C, hearty sandwiches, lean proteins, and lots of fruit and vegetables. I’m also not cutting too many calories because food will be essential to how my muscles repair themselves this week.
  4. Rest: I’m going to turn off Netflix earlier, read more, and get into bed on time. Also, if I wake up to my alarm and I truly feel like I should sleep longer, I will sleep longer.
  5. Mobility: Stretching, foam rolling, yoga. Between lifting and trying to run again I am going to be sore. I know this. So I need to combat the inevitable as much as possible.
  6. Hydrate: I know one of the biggest rules of being sick is to drink lots of clear fluids. I did alright with this but the last three weeks I was nowhere close to how hydrated I usually am. This week I’m back to using my FitBit app to track my water intake, and I’m aiming for that gallon again.
  7. Supplements: I’m going to try to remember to take my two usual supplements daily (Vitamin D and Omega-3s) but I also am testing out Oil of Oregano. Lots of people swear by this and I figure it can’t hurt to try it out.

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