And we're back! Kind of... after a week of small planes, baboon welcoming committees at tiny "airports" (we'll use that term loosely), the most amazing several days on safari, more short flights, and one heck of a long flight, the #BLOGONBREAK ban has been officially lifted!
Cue fever, aches, and stomach not-quite-right... well, t'is the season to catch one of the many bugs going around. BUT that doesn't have to mean that movement needs to be put on hold completely; after all, we are here to discuss MOVEMENT as MEDICINE.
So what are some ways to keep moving when all we want to do is hunker down with Netflix? (Open to new series suggestions, by the way...)
Grab your foam roller and get cozy. Spending a lot of time in bed when we're sick leaves us pretty tight along our back bodies and contracted along our front bodies. Reverse the hours of fetal position snoozing by slowly rolling your lower back and hamstrings. Alternate with some gentle upward facing dog or cobra to stretch the front side of your body as you're working through all of that bed-bound back body tightness/front body contraction. While we're on the topic of rolling, give your neck and shoulders some attention. Gently roll from side to side, shake yes and no (try to end on a yes!), or - even better - roll out your yoga mat...
Work some of the smaller, more often ignored muscles. I'm talking fingers and toes, wrists and ankles. Morgan Haley (better known as The Southern Yogi) has a lovely series of finger and wrist exercises in her Ab'Asanas e-book to build strength and explore weight distribution working from the table top position (because fever and inversions don't exactly go hand-in-hand... amirite).
Onto the ankles and toes! Now this one you can do actually right in your bed. Grab a resistance band, stretch over the feet and simply point and flex (flashback to ballet camp!). Your calves will feel it as well, and who doesn't want to channel their inner Misty Copeland when they're feeling down in the dumps?! This is exactly the kind of movement that encourages blood flow, particularly after long periods of sedentary behavior, so get the blood pumping.
Flex your other "muscles"... you know, exercise your brain a little bit. Pick up an instrument (fingers get a workout there as well), read a book, watch a documentary (currently hooked on anything and everything African safari), or grab a crossword puzzle in one of the free papers as you step off the subway (if you're brave enough to step outside!). And that big muscle pumping in your chest? Get your heart in on it, phone a friend or family member to catch up or write a letter.
Finally, get to planning. One of the worst things about being sick is feeling super bummed about NOT being able to move the way we'd like to (did someone say FOMO?!?). Grab your calendar and get some classes onto the schedule. Enlist a friend to try a new workout with you. Planning ahead can help to keep you excited about when you're up to getting moving again! Remember to take it slow and listen to your body!
Oh! Did I mention SLEEP? Get #ALLTHESLEEP, y'all. Sleep is when your body puts all non-essential activity on hold so that the focus can be on HEALING and RECOVERY! (You're welcome for no photo of me sleeping!)
Doing what I can (no matter how small) and planning my comeback are some ways that I help to ward off the funk of being too sick to work out! How do you stay on track when you're under the weather? (And send those Netflix suggestions... wink, wink). Comment below to let me know!