Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are bringing you one exercise topic, talking about it for two minutes, and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice.  This week we are talking to you if you have been ill.  If you have had the flu, a nasty cold, or any kind of illness and are just starting to get back into the swing of things with exercise, how do you start again?

1) Manage Your Expectations

Number one, you must manage your expectations.  We always feel like we get ill right as we are making this big break through and have been really consistent with our exercise.  In these cases, illness can definitely throw us off.  When you are getting back into exercise, make it a point to manage your expectations.  Realize that your body has been under a huge stress because of the illness and you must gradually get back into exercise.

Action Step:  However long you were ill for, allow yourself twice as long to get back to full speed.  If you were sick for a week, mentally block out two weeks of lightly working out before you are back to where you were before.

2) Use the Rule of 50%

Tip number two – use the rule of 50%.  However much volume you were doing as far as sets or reps, however far you were running or biking, or however much weight you were using, start off at 50% of that.  Hopefully it feels easy – it should!  If it doesn’t, continue to reduce what you are doing by 50% until it does feel easy.  Then, start at that volume/load to rebuild your foundation.

Action Step:  Cut everything you were doing by 50%.  If it feels like a greater challenge than a 5 out of 10, continue to reduce what you are doing until you get to that level.

3) Be Careful of How Quickly You Progress

Our third exercise tip if you have been ill is to be careful of how quickly you progress your workouts back to 100%.  Sometimes we get ill in part because we are actually progressing our workouts too quickly.  Not that exercise is a cause of illness, but it could be that your exercise is too stressful for your body and thereby leaving you more vulnerable to catching an illness.  So make sure that when you are returning from illness and getting back into the swing of things that you are being mindful of how quickly you are progressing with your exercise.

Action Step:  Make sure that you are not sore, beat up, or achy from your workouts.  If you are feeling this way, you are trying to do too much and putting too much stress on your body.  Reduce your workload by 50% until you can exercise and not feel achy or sore.  Then let your recovery dictate your progression.  As long as you are not feeling sore for the rest of the day or any part of the next three days after your workout, you are free to increase your challenge.

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Team MAS

Muscle Activation Schaumburg is an exercise facility located in Schaumburg, IL with a goal to help you keep your health for as long as possible. We know that it is your health that allows you to do the things you love in life. This is why we promote a lifestyle that includes exercise, rather than exercise that is a burden to your life. Muscle Activation Schaumburg provides Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) and personal training services to its clients. We use MAT® and exercise to increase the function of your body. A well-functioning body is what allows you to stay healthy and do the things you love. We value helping the members of our community of Schaumburg as well as surrounding communities of the Northwest Suburbs improve their health.