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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-13-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
Eric Lester
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I woke up this morning with a sore throat. By mid day it was almost gone.

At 4 I hit the gym and did the continuously running clock pullup workout from a few days ago then some light sprint work. Felt fine, came home and fixed a fruit smoothy.

Sat down at my computer. By about 7 I was starting to feel pretty bad. I checked my temperature at 9ish and it was 101.

Did my exercise weaken my immune system so that the germs that were already there could attack, or was it coincidence?

PS: Would it be harmful to workout tomorrow?
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:37 PM   #2
Mark Garcia
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Rest tomorrow just to be sure.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Eric,
There are several possibilities here.

I feel that most typical "colds" are the body ridding itself of waste/toxins/junk/whatever you want to call it (I'm not attached to any term, more the concept). That's why no "cure" will ever be found, the only things typically found to help are things that boost the body's excretion of waste matter.

Example: People getting sick after a stressful period of time (ie. the end of a semester, after studying a ton for the big final). Why does the "breakdown" almost always happen the day or two after the test? Because the body is recovering and now has the resources/energy to throw off all of the junk food/poor sleep/stress chemicals/metabolic waste. This is much less of a "victim" mentality of human health than the conventional model--which still doesn't have any answers for the common cold *at all*.

Your workout may have actually increased your body's overall immune function, resulting in more excretion of wastes (fevers are the body's way of burning off bacteria & viruses as well as increasing sweating--the skin is the body's largest excretory organ).

If you don't dig the potential explanation I provided above, I'd look into your long-term underrecovery and/or the amount of sugar in your PWO smoothie--both can weaken the immune system.

Try some wet socks:
http://www.vhi.ie/hfiles/hf-305.jsp#3

Sounds crazy, but if you catch your cold in early enough stages, it can work like magic...
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:08 PM   #4
Steven Low
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What I have found, from my own training, is that if you exercise hard when you are starting to get sick, it will make your sickness worse. The cause of this would be because when you're working your muscles and tearing them up, your immune system has to come in and basically help clean up your muscles which will divert the valuable resources from the particular sickness that is developing. This gives the bacteria/virus additional time to grow which can make you more sick.

Even if this is not the case, and it is the other option that Garrett suggested, it is better to take a few days rest and let it blow over. To workout and risk getting sicker is a no win situation. For one, you won't be able to workout and it will prolong your rest from the gym. Secondly, it will make you more sick which probably will impair your ability to eat and you may lose more muscle mass. So yes, rest if you are feeling ill.
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Old 06-14-2006, 05:40 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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I do suggest time off from intense exercise. It is at times like this, Eric, that joint mobility, yoga, stretching, meditation, and other forms of "exercise" that are believed to relieve stress on the body/mind/spirit are highly suggested.
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Old 06-14-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
Dan MacDougald
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My experience is quite similar to Steven Low's. But I think there are times when exercise in the very earliest stages of illness can help, by perhaps raising body temperature and creating an artificial fever. If you time it wrong, however, the illness can be aggravated, especially if, as Dr. G says, you have compromised your immune system with a lot of stress. So discretion is usually the better part of valor. On the other end, in the later stages of recovery, I definitely think it helps speed recovery.
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:19 AM   #7
Eric Lester
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I took today off and tomorrow I may just do some stretching. I've only had my Elite Rings for a couple weeks though and it's hard to stay off them!

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Old 06-15-2006, 07:19 AM   #8
Garrett Smith
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One can still stretch on the rings, Eric...:proud:
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