Cure the common cold with Pilates?
When Fuse Pilates ambassador Melissa Sharp was struck with a winter flu, she took some time off, and then she took her (no longer contagious) body to Fuse... It’s cold and flu season. Germs are almost unescapable. Maybe I picked something up on the metro, maybe it was at work at a restaurant or at the movie theater – who knows. All I do know is that I woke up last Sunday morning with the dreaded sore throat. I tried my best to fend it off, doubled up on Vitamin C, drank lots of water but try as I might, by Monday morning I was officially sick. Every muscle in my body ached. I had a fever and spent most of the night coughing. After calling in sick to work, I forced myself to take some cough syrup and went straight back to bed. Sometimes your body just needs sleep to fight off whatever virus or germs we’ve picked up out in the city. I was scheduled to go to a Fuse Chair class on Monday, but knew this wasn’t going to work. Not only could I barely move, but I was most likely contagious. When you are truly sick, pushing yourself to workout isn’t the right thing for your body. If you push your body too far, you can delay your own recovery. And on top of that, I didn’t want to contaminate the studio with my germs. No one wants to workout next to someone who is coughing up a lung. So I minded the Fuse cancellation policy and made sure to cancel in time for someone else to enjoy my spot in class. Then after sleeping most of Monday and rotating from my couch to my bed several times on Tuesday, I was finally starting to feel a bit better. My fever was gone; I was able to swallow my chicken noodle soup. I didn’t feel great by any means but could tell my body was on the mend. So I went to bed super early and planned to head into work Wednesday. Returning to work was necessary, work was piling up and deadlines needed to be met. So after staying home for two days, I knew I needed to get back into the office. What I wasn’t sure about was whether or not I was ready to workout again, but I packed my workout bag just in case. My plan was simple. Go to work, and if by 2pm I felt achy and my cough was annoying, I would skip Pilates; but if I was just tired and sluggish I would push myself to see what a mat class would do for me. Turns out this unscientific little test of mine was, dare I say…brilliant. Two o’clock rolled around and I was most definitely tired, but I wasn’t sick. My muscles felt a bit stiff but my bones didn’t hurt. And even though my voice had at this point disappeared, I wasn’t coughing, so I decided I should tough it out and go to the Fuse Toys class I had registered for. I figured I’d go, secure a spot in the back, and if I started feeling weak at any point, I could always find a child’s pose or stretch. As it turns out, I made it through the entire class. I think my body was actually craving the exercise. Concentrating on my breathing and getting my blood pumping again felt fantastic. The movements helped me shake off that lethargic feeling that was holding my body hostage and reminded my body, mind and soul how much better it feels to workout as opposed to spending another hour resting on the couch. So here’s my recommendation for everyone out there struggling with a cold or flu this winter, listen carefully to your own body. There is a difference between feeling sick and feeling tired. If you are sick, stay home and take care of yourself. But when your symptoms improve, don’t let feeling tired keep you away from working out. Going to the Fuse playground, listening to upbeat music, breathing and reconnecting with your own body may just be the best medicine there is.