Performing regular exercise is one of the most important ways to maintain your state of health and improve well-being. Regular exercises strengthen the heart and allow for the more efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen.
It also strengthens one’s ability to fight infections. There are instances, however, when we cannot perform our regular exercise. One of them is when we get a bout of flu. Individuals who are down with flu often ask themselves how soon they can get back to their normal exercise routine.
Answering this question requires a basic understanding of how flu occurs and what happens to the body when one has flu. This health condition is brought about by a virus that produces a number of signs and symptoms. \
These can include general body weakness or feeling of tiredness, pain, and headaches. Most will have fever, muscle spasms, and sore throats as well.
Viral infections cannot be confused with bacterial infections, although they may follow the same disease process. Viral infections like flu are self-limiting. Bacterial infections, on the other hand, are not.
This means that even without treatment, flu can resolve by itself. The human body is fully capable of addressing the infection using the cells of the immune system.
There are cases, however, where other problems can occur. These complications can produce other problems that can increase the number of days that we are sick. For example, pneumonia may follow after flu because of the accumulation of secretions in the pulmonary tree.
If the flu progresses without any complications, then you can expect to be back on your feet after 5 to 7 days. If there are complications that may arise, this number of days can also be increased to 14 days or even 21 days. This depends on the resulting complication and its severity.
Just because there are no more signs and symptoms of flu doesn’t mean you can start resuming your daily exercise. Keep in mind that the body is capable of fighting the flu virus.
It does this by mobilising immune system cells like immunoglobulins and other leukocytes. It is possible that these cells become depleted in fighting the infection. As such, the body will replenish these substances once the infection has already been managed.
Replenishing the body’s immune system cells takes time. This will also require other affected body organs to start repairing or healing themselves. All of these processes require energy. Given that your body is still weak from the bout with flu, it may take a much longer time for the body to completely heal itself.
It is for this reason that you need to rest for at least two to three more days after the symptoms of flu have subsided. This is to make sure that your body has sufficient time to heal properly.
If this period of healing is compromised, you can further damage the tissues. For instance, if you get back to exercising the first day that there are no more flu symptoms, you will still feel very weak.
The muscles will not be able to perform their functions very well since they are still trying to recover. And if you still have minor throat irritation, this can get in the way to more effective breathing.
Additionally, since you still feel weak, you will not be able to accomplish your regular exercises with the same intensity prior to having flu.
It is for this reason that allowing several days of complete rest after a bout of flu is important. This allows your body to recover. To help you with this, you can increase your consumption of protein-rich and high-calorie foods.
These will provide the necessary elements for tissue repair. They can also help boost energy levels to allow the different organs to heal completely.
So, when should you go back to your regular exercises? Conventional wisdom states that you should wait up to 5 days after all the signs and symptoms of flu have dissipated. Only then can you resume your normal activities of daily living including exercises.
Resuming exercises even before complete recovery can lead to health problems. Not only that, you will also not be able to maximise the effort you put into each exercise.