Training, Exercise, and Recovery VS Stress, and Illness

It’s a strange time to be alive. Everything seems uncertain on multiple levels. It seems there’s no limit to how much stress you could hold right now. Nobody has any real answers about what the future holds. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, I wanted to email with a few thoughts on our current situation and a word of encouragement.

Key points:

  • Continue to exercise regularly. It’s good for your body and mind.
  • Don’t overdo it with extremely hard or long sessions.
  • Wash your hands. Sleep 8-9h. Eat a lot of plants.
  • Try to remain calm. Listen to music or read a book. Don’t scroll headlines.
  • Keep to yourself physically. Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Connect with people remotely, but don’t spend a bunch of time merely browsing social platforms.
  • It’s going to hurt for a while. The more it hurts now, the less it will hurt later.
  • Don’t worry about what you can’t control.
  • Do focus on what you can do to make things safer or better for you and those around you.

Exercise is one of the best things that you can do. Now or ever. It is and always will be one of the best things you can do with whatever time and energy that you devote to it. Seriously, whether you go for a short walk in the morning or between meetings, go for a 10 mile run, or a 30 mile bike ride… It’s one of the best things out there for your body and your mind. It helps you to feel better physically, helps you handle stress better, and helps you to be more creative and thoughtful. If we want to deal with stress or solve problems, our bodies and brains work best with some daily exercise.

Your immune system benefits from regular, strenuous exercise. Extremely long and intense sessions of exercise are stressful and may suppress your immune system. But, when you’re not taking it to extremes, exercise is a very positive influence on your immune system. And, all of the best practices that you should already have that help you recover from hard training is also going to be helpful for your immune system. None of this has changed with the rise of a new virus circulating the globe. In fact, everything about your active lifestyle is exactly what reduces your personal risk of bad outcomes when meeting a pathogen like the novel coronavirus. Still, keep in mind that you can be a great vector capable of carrying viruses to others, so keep to yourself!

All of the things that you do to take care of yourself to be healthy and fit should still be maintained. If you are someone who really loves going hard in training, then you should take it down a notch. You may train hard to set PRs or get into shape for racing or special events you plan to do. At the moment, all of those events are cancelled, so you should take a step back and work on building your foundation for when events resume. If you train for fun, fitness, and PRs, then you can still set PRs in the future. It doesn’t have to be next month. No matter who you are or what your goals are, you don’t need to be in peak shape in April or May of 2020. Give yourself freedom to do consistent, quality training, but train for peak performance later.

We love exercising, getting outside, sweating, and sometimes doing that with friends. Keep it up. You can do it with friends again soon. In the meantime, keep your body strong with regular training, healthy foods, plenty of sleep, and take a moment to laugh and smile every so often.