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When it’s Okay to Run

Since having the twins I have noticed that my waistline has been ever-increasing. Hours of not getting time to eat followed by a binge on Netflix and Ben and Jerrys when the twins are finally down to sleep are beginning to take their toll on my body. I now have the infamous ‘mum-bod’ with jiggly bits in all of the wrong places, and so a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would try and do something about it. This is the main reason that I took up running.

I won’t go into too many details here, but running is one of the best activities for your body. If you eat relatively sensibly and run regularly, then you don’t need to waste your money on a gym membership. You may read horror stories about it being bad for your joints because of the forces exerted on them, but these stories are usually unfounded. Again, I’m not going to go into many details.

I took up running about six weeks ago, and have already built up to a regular routine that fits around the twins. However trouble struck at the end of January when I became a little bit ill. As all parents know, spending the day in bed simply isn’t an option when you have young children to look after. You simply have to get on with it. This was also the attitude I took up with my running. I didn’t feel too great – but I ran anyway. This was a big mistake, as what started out as feeling a little bit under the weather quickly developed into flu-like symptoms. And when I say quickly I mean quickly, as in within an hour of finishing my run. Long story short I am only just to the point where I feel well again now, which is why I am writing this post. While being ill I researched some of the most common health complains, and whether it’s okay to continue your running regime with them. So here they are:

Common Cold

It is Okay to run if your nose is a little stuffy or runny, and you have a mild headache or slight sore throat. Basically if all of the symptoms are above the neck.

Do not run if your nose is very runny, your temperature is higher than usual, you feel shivery, or have aches in your muscles or joints (that aren’t from any other activities).

 

A Cough

If your cough is dry and tickly and the irritation is in your throat then it should be okay to run, providing you don’t have a temperature and you’re not coughing too frequently.

However if your cough feels as though it is coming from your chest, or is producing phlegm then it’s a good idea to stay at home. If you feel short of breath of wheezy, or have a temperature, then going out for a run is a definite no-no.

 

Sore Throat

If your throat is just a bit dry and scratchy and it’s not that painful to swallow, then a run will do you no harm.

Again, if you have a temperature or feel shivery, your glands around your throat are swollen or your neck feels a bit stiff then do not run. Don’t run if it hurts to swallow either.

 

Sinus Infection

If your sinuses are only slightly congested and a bit tender then by all means go out and pound that pavement.

If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, or your face or teeth are hurting, then schedule your run for another time when you don’t feel so rough.

 

Diarrhoea

As long as you don’t feel sick or have stomach pains and you’ve been eating and drinking plenty of fluids, you’re okay to run if you’ve had a couple of small bouts of loose stools and you don’t feel as though there will be any more.

If you’re getting stomach cramps and think there might be more bouts to come, or you feel sick or have been sick, haven’t eaten and are not well-hydrated then stay at home.

 

Urine Infection

If it’s only slightly uncomfortable to pass urine – even if you’re doing it more often than usual then it’s fine to run if you’re otherwise well and don’t have a stomach ache or temperature.

If you feel sick, shivery or have lower back pain then don’t run. If it stings to pass urine or there is blood in your urine then don’t run either.

 

The Flu

With the flu, it’s never okay to run.

When it comes to the flu if you have it properly then you will struggle to get out of bed, let alone get up and go for a run or any other form of exercise. Don’t even attempt another run until you feel fully recovered and can cope easily with your normal life again.

 

And there you have it. If you ever fit into any of the latter camps then it means that you’re quite ill and your energy will be better left for your immune system to fight whatever problem you have. Running will put extra strain on your body, which will reduce your immune response. Even if you fit into the ‘okay to run’ category then don’t go out and try to set a new PB, just take it easy and see how you get on. In either case it’s important to pay attention to your body and only accomplish what you’re able to.