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Share gift of fitness gains, not germs, this season

It’s that time of year again.

The days inside are surrounded by friends and family. Go to gatherings with “potluck” style meals, sit with each other and share.

You think I’m talking about the holidays, but I’m not. Instead, I’m talking about the cold and flu season. Yes, that time of year where throats scratch, noses run, and everywhere you look, someone is either coming over or coming off with “something”.

I bring this up because so many individuals try to get through the cold and flu season, avoiding changing their daily routines. These routines often involve exercise, which is great, but can lead to some unwanted consequences.

So with this article I want to educate you on something you can do or avoid to reduce your time off and on this cold and flu season.

Let’s conclude with the fact that exercise deliberately stresses the body. This means that we use controlled and calculated exercises to break down our bodies so they can rebuild themselves in a way to compensate for that stress and try to avoid it in the future.

This is the premise of exercise in its entirety. The problem with exercising when you’re sick is that your body is already broken down. The stress we put on our muscles can also be stress placed on our already weakened immune systems.

This lowers our ability to fight the disease in our bodies and will only cause us to be sick longer and even make the symptoms worse. If that’s not bad enough, your performance in the gym will decrease due to the lack of energy in your body. Also, don’t feel better confused with 100 percent.

Don’t rush back and take your time to ensure you are completely over any illnesses before attempting to continue your wellness routine.

The other note worth making is the spread of disease within the gym itself. I want to point out that a fitness center can be the equivalent of a school playground for adults. This means that we share the same toys with each other, and we have to be careful when it comes to the possible transfer of germs from person to person.

Here at the YMCA, our staff works with our members to regularly clean our machines to reduce the chances of disease being passed from person to person. I also always remind clients to wipe down a machine, not only after they’re done, but before they even do their first rep.

I like to think everyone is perfect and always remembers to clean the machine when they’re done, but I know that’s not the case.

At the end of the other day, you always have to be careful. Taking a few days off to recover is not only beneficial to you, but also courteous to others. Wash your hands, drink your fluids and practice patience when it comes to a plan to get back to your exercise routine.

Let us share the gift of profits and not a gesture of germs.

Quinton Sallin is a wellness director at the Jefferson City Area YMCA.

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