Ok, we admit it, exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing the morning after the night before and although there are definitely exercises you should avoid when you’re not feeling your best, there are also numerous things can do to make you feel better. Here, Dmitri Tkatchev of Epoch fitness (epochfitness.co.uk) gets us back on the road to recovery;
COMING DOWN WITH THE COMMON COLD:
“Unless you have a fever or more severe symptoms, exercise can definitely help but be sure to keep it light,” says Dmitri. “Although exercise puts the body under a certain amount of stress, studies have shown that fit, active people have a much lower rate of upper respiratory tract infections that couch potatoes.”
Dmitri goes on to add that as moderate exercise which elevates your heartrate has been shown to improve immunity, it’s your ultimate weapon in the war against the sniffles.
“Choose exercise that you enjoy and alternate between resistance training and cardiovascular training but keep the sessions short,” advises Dmitri. “Not only will it help you prevent the symptoms of a cold, boost your immunity and give you a boost of endorphins, but it will also keep your body in top shape for the winter season.”
Dmitri suggests the following circuit which can be repeated 1-3 times depending on your fitness levels:
1. 30-45 minute jog/cycle/brisk walk
2. Cross training take 10-20 seconds rest between each exercise and 45-60 seconds rest between each set.
Exercise A. Jumping jacks 1 minute
Exercise B. Hip Bridges x 12
Exercise C. Push ups x 12
Exercise D. Squats x 12
Exercise E. Plank x 45-60 second.
“Endurance training and working out at high intensity can generally lower your immunity and push you over the edge if it’s already compromised,” says Dmitri. “Avoid doing gruelling cardiovascular training or high intensity training (HIT) and instead, keep it simple.”
BATTLING WITH PMS
“Exercise is often recommended as a natural non-pharmacological way to reducing the symptoms of PMS such as mood disturbance, fatigue, cognitive function and bloating,” says Dmitri. “Studies have shown that the symptoms of PMT are significantly lower among those who participate in various forms of physical activity compared those who don’t.”
“Yoga is a great way of reducing the symptoms of PMS. As well as reducing the negative effect of PMS on body weight, blood pressure and resting heart rate, practicing yoga also helps to lower anxiety, depression and anger while improving the overall feeling of well-being although there are some poses that are best avoided such as inversions,” says Dmitri who also recommends mixing it up with swimming which is great at relieving cramps or aerobic exercise such as jogging, cycling or a brisk walk.
“Exercise is generally advised during PMS so there’s not much you can’t do, the most important thing is to focus on what your body’s telling you and be mindful of your limitations.”
NURSING A HANGOVER
“Assuming you’ve managed to get out of bed, exercise can be an effective way to battle SOME of the symptoms of a hangover such as guilt, remorse and depression,” says Dmitri. “But make sure you have something to eat when you wake up and drink a couple of glasses of water as your blood sugar is often low and the body is dehydrated following a heavy night out.”
“First of all, be mindful of your symptoms and make sure that you are not still drunk,” warns Dmitri. “If all is well you’re safe to train but keep it light. Some cardio vascular training can help raise your metabolism and give your body the much needed boost of endorphins. A gentle Yoga practice, light jog, taking a walk or meditating will help to improve most symptoms of a hangover.”
“If you feel like lifting weights make sure you avoid high intensity work as a diminished ability to recover and coordinate movements can result in injury. In general it’s best to keep active but without placing too much stress on the body which is already busy dealing with the effects of over-indulgence.”