Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweat a cold, starve a fever?

Boy, have I been grumpy.

Last week, I felt a cold coming on. And I did what the old Erika never would have done:

I decided to try to sweat it out.

Let’s just say that was a big, fat fail.

Last Tuesday night, my throat started feeling scratchy. But Wednesday I did a hard cardio class thinking it would be good for me. Thursday I felt worse. Again, I thought a good workout would help. It didn’t.

By Friday, I was coughing and achy and overall miserable. I spent most of the weekend on the couch, whiny and feeling sorry for myself (this seems to be a theme lately).

This cold took a hold of me. It must have really loved me, because it didn’t want to let me go. So before last night, I hadn’t worked out since last Thursday. And I really felt it.

It’s funny. I didn’t gain any weight. My clothes weren’t tighter. But without the scale, I would have told you I’d gained 10 pounds. I just felt so gross from the lack of activity.

Not only that, but it’s made me realize how much I need my workouts to balance me emotionally. I’ve had a few major crying sessions this week, mostly because I haven’t had my physical release to help with stress.

Last night, I ventured back to my intense zumba class near my home. I felt loads better. So much better, I went again today at 6 a.m., despite staying up late last night to watch my Braves (sniff!) lose in extra innings.

It was just another realization to me of how much I’ve changed. Old Erika would have kind of welcomed a cold—it would be an excuse to wallow on my couch and eat. New Erika? Thought she could work out to overcome it and was sad when it wasn’t so successful.

I’m on the mend and back to my schedule now. And I’m pretty sure all my friends and family are super glad I’ve got my stress reliever back (Sorry, y’all. But thanks for listening…really).

Now you tell me: How does exercise help you beyond just the physical benefits?


Anonymous said...

Exercise helped me when my relationship unexpectedly ended. I was incredibly upset, and since I'm not a drinker or a smoker, I worked out. I lost the extra 20 pounds I was carrying and I gained so much confidence! I've now been in a relationship for 3 years with a better guy (and I have not stopped my workouts!).

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would say this, yet here I am saying it...I love to run! When I run, I have time to mentally process all that has happened during the day, so I am more relaxed and less stressed. I love the physical benefits and I am constantly amazed at what my body is able to do. I never thought I would be able to run several miles (including hills) without stopping. It is a confidence builder as it shows once again that I can do whatever I set my mind to doing!

Erika said...

Love it, you guys! Isn't it amazing when we realize how pushing our bodies can help our overall mental well-being, too?

Thanks for your comments!

cd said...

That picture of you with the green top is beauteeeful!

Exercise for me taps into my physical self, mental self and emotional self. I run in the wee hours of the morning with my friend, Debbie. It's usually pitch dark and so we run and talk and it's like I can tell her anything - we just talk very openly with each other and it's such an emotional and mental release. And like you said, the physical aspect is a stress reliever in and of itself - gets everything moving and sets the tone for the day for me - :) ahh...