If you’ve gone outside within the last few weeks, then you’re aware of how brutal the weather is in Toronto. This means many students are getting sick. Sadly, I am one of said students. For many university students, catching a cold per semester is practically a tradition. Sadly, when I’m sick, I tend to put my life on hold until I get better.
Being sick can be a bit of a hindrance when trying to keep up with my goals, but it’s not the end of the world. I’ve found that with exercise, the usual lethargy that comes with having a cold tends to go away. Being sick doesn’t mean that I need to stop everything I’m doing but instead, just change my pace,
Here are my tips on staying active while fighting a cold:
1) Stretch, Stretch, and Stretch.
No, seriously, stretch as much as you can. Even if it means touching your toes and lifting up your arms, warming up your muscles can alleviate symptoms of soreness in your body. Even though having a cold means full-on exhaustion, I personally find that by stretching, I regain some of that lost energy and feel less lethargic.
Once I’m feeling a bit better, I’ll try a drop-in exercise class on campus. I’m aiming for a class like Stretch Works, which happens on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the Athletic Centre (Free for all U of T students). I find that getting out of bed and moving my body makes me feel better mentally and physically.
2) Buddy Up!
Of course, having a cold makes you want to isolate yourself and create a blanket fort in your room. Well, at least for me. But why not create a buddy system and make plans to hit the Hart House gym after class, just for a half hour or so? I’m planning on going to a drop-in class with another bed-ridden friend of mine this week. We can encourage one another to leave our rooms and hit the gym! An exercise session with a friend can benefit your studies too! Physical activity helps me to focus on schoolwork afterward. Believe me, with all of the drowsiness and brain fog caused by this nasty bug, focus is needed right now!
Call it a day, or call it a night—getting rest is an important element in the recovery process. I know that I tend to be a night owl, but I also know that I need to defy the typical university student sleep schedule and go to bed early. I start my day with stretching to energize myself, and I end with more stretching to calm myself down. When it comes to stretching before bed, this is when I focus on yoga moves such as Pigeon Pose, where I stretch one leg out and back, and then lunge my other leg while bending it toward my inner thigh. Doing yoga before bed helps prepare me for the next day by releasing tension from my body. I can already feel myself calming down just thinking of the poses I’ll do!. Namaste!
Even when sick, it’s still possible to boost your energy with exercise!
My dear readers: how do you stay active while recovering from a cold?