The short answer:
At least, not usually. I have been sick five times since I started my new job in mid-September. Yep, five times. I’ve had two sore throats, one bout of extreme nausea, a mild cold and one knock-me-on-my-socks cold/flu that lasted nearly two weeks. This is all despite my best efforts (drinking beet juice, tea and kombucha, eating lots of veggies, taking vitamins, doing yoga twice a week, meditating and riding my bike every day, using a neti pot, etc.). This has happened to me every year I’ve worked in schools – I get sick a lot in the beginning, being exposed to all those darn germs. And add to that the stress of taking night classes, getting used to a new schedule and having my own business in addition to my job.
I’ve been pretty vigilant about trying to take care of myself, in all the ways I mentioned above. But when I feel an illness coming on, I get off my bike. I have heard from many reliable sources that you can ride your bike or exercise when you’re sick with no worries, as long as you listen to your body and don’t overtax it. It can help keep your immune system strong. But…when it’s below freezing outside (and it usually is these days), and I’m feeling tired, run-down and fighting off a cold, I default to my car. This is a huge frustration for me, because I LOVE riding my bike so very much. I love being outside, especially at this time of year and (not to sound vain, but…) I love to hear people yell out how much they love my bike. (Who wouldn’t love that?!)
But when I listen to my body, it usually tells me to stay warm and rest. If this means a 4-mile round-trip journey in my car, then so be it. This week, and half of last week, I have had to take my car. I will probably take it again Wednesday and Thursday, because of appointments I have after work. So next week, I’ll be back in the saddle again, assuming I’m feeling better by then.
What do you do when you’re sick? Do you still bicycle? Do you work out?