Food & Fitness

Immune systems breaking down and building up again

No matter how well we treat ourselves, our immune systems are never perfect. At some point or another, the busy lifestyles we lead catches up to us and we fall ill. It’s especially unfortunate, I think, to become sick in the summer. At least if you’re going to be sick in the winter, you can be all cozy under lots of blankets and eat soup and enjoy the fact that you can curl up in bed and not have to brave the cold. But standing over a hot stove making soup on an exceptionally hot day isn’t all that appealing, and its a pain to look out the window and see green trees and blue skies and know that the temperature is beautiful while you’re stuck sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs waiting for the illness to go away.

I don’t like being sick, but it can’t be much helped (or maybe it could have been prevented… perhaps this is a result of my bad food choices from the past week or so? Hmmmm… 🙂 ). It was Monday night that I started to come down with something and since then I’ve been headache-y and had a sore throat and felt tired and without my usual amounts of seemingly boundless energy. I don’t take medication when I get sick (unless its something more serious… I was all about the T3’s when I got my wisdom teeth out and WOW were they great) and I also don’t generally take time off work unless it’s really serious. I’d get bored if I were to just stay in bed all day.

On Monday I missed boot camp because I slept in past my alarm clock- I was completely horrified and terribly upset about missing my beloved class (perhaps mildly exercise dependent…). So even though my throat was killing me yesterday morning, I went off to boot camp and sucked it up anyways. I know that I would have felt much worse had I missed the class again. But I was really amazed at the difference in my performance level as compared to when I am not sick. I was out of breath much quicker and couldn’t run nearly as fast as usual. My weights felt even more heavy than normal and I was tired. One of the other girls even came up to me at the end of the class and asked me if I was alright- and if someone else in a class of about a dozen women can notice a decrease in my performance level, that must mean that I was really lagging behind! Even so, I as always enjoyed the class immensely and I am glad that I went to it. But I was surprised that the slight headache and the sore throat could have that much of an impact on my abilities.

I know that my immune system is generally pretty strong. But sometimes, its easy to forget that it still does have its limitations. Sometimes it needs a bit of a break and needs to rest. It is necessary to take the time to get a full night of rest and take a little time off to recuperate and build up that immune system again.

Does this mean I’m going to miss out on the gorgeous weather outside or skip boot camp tomorrow? Hell, no! But I can compromise and go to bed earlier and try to “take it easy” during the day. And soon the old immune system will be up and running just as good as new… our immune systems take care of us 95% of the time, so that other 5% is up to us to take care of it. I think it pretty well deserves that much, anyways, for everything that it does for us!


  1. Mark Salinas

    I regret it when I miss Boot Camp also, so I rarely miss it. But I have learned that it is okay for me to modify if I am sick or injured. The instructor will tell me “you don’t need to be a hero, listen to your body!”

    It took awhile for me to heed the advice, but after prolonging injuries far to often, I finally got it. It was good advice.
    Nice post and great job!

  2. Charlotte

    I’m a work-thru-the-sickies kind of girl myself, so I totally understand. It does make a huge difference. Get lots of sleep and I hope you feel better soon!

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Robin- I have issues with sitting still… when I wake up in the morning, I’m out of bed right away. I feel weird if I stay in bed any longer.

    Mark- my instructor was really nice about it too. She told me that I know my own limits so just do as much as I can and thats all that counts!

    Big Girl & Bag Lady- I HEART the boot camp:)

    Charlotte- its surprisingly tough to take time off, isn’t it?

    Cammy & Running Knitter- Thanks! I think I’ll all be cleared up in a couple days.

    MizFit- Now I just need to be all Rocky-esque and start doing the one-handed push ups and I’ll be TRULY hardcore:)

  4. Susan

    I hate being sick, and in the summer… that’s just worse!

    I admire you for your dedication and determination. But do get some good rest so you don’t tax your immune system too much.

    I’ve always been of the belief that sleep and fluids are the best medicines for fighting off “bugs.” 🙂

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!!!

  5. Sagan Morrow

    Loveofoats & Geekgirl- Thanks! I’m filling up on my green tea as we speak.

    Susan- Sleep and fluids ARE a good way to get rid of illness. I figure its best to just let time heal it all over rather than pump myself full of scary meds.

    Mark- I sure did! Thanks for asking; it was wonderful:) And not as difficult as it was on Wednesday, so my sickness is clearing up. Hurray!

  6. Gena

    One time, I had tonsillitis on vacation. That was fun.

    I also tend to work through the illness, saying things like “oh, it’s just allergies”. Our bodies do really need proper rest right along side proper nutrition. Neglect either one and we are just asking to get sick!

    Currently, I have somehow hurt my back, and I’m really struggling to take the time off to recuperate.

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