20 September 2009

Made a choice to catch a cold?

Stay in the moment, and pay attention because you may just catch those instances where making the right choice could make all the difference in the world.

I am currently on Day 3 of my cold. Yes, I have a cold. I have acknowledged it, I own it and I am still choosing to remain positive by continuing with my health routine and exercise. There is much controversy surrounding whether or not it is good to exercise with a cold. In a nutshell, here is the scoop: Everyone should exercise on a regular basis because it in FACT helps to boost the immune system, so when and if you do catch a cold, your body is in a stronger position to fight off the cold.

It is ok to exercise with a cold, but you have to be careful and not over do it because the energy you put into the workout is the energy you are taking away from your immune system to do the fighting. If you overexert yourself, you are in jeopardy of getting sicker and perhaps causing more issues. Another important thing to know is that if you are taking medications for the cold, such as a decongestant, that it can raise your heart rate. I can tell you that I am NOT taking any medications, only eating very healthy, taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water and getting extra rest!

When you catch a cold, you should EXERCISE a good deal of thoughtfulness, such as staying away from other people for a few days so that you do not infect them. If you do need to be around people, keep to yourself, wash hands like crazy, and avoid infecting them. You should take time out and rest if you really want to do yourself and others a favor. Get on the road to getting back to a good state of health. If your cold is combined with other issues, like chronic coughing, asthma, bronchitis, fever.... it is NOT wise to exercise.. and very wise to perhaps see a doctor to find out what exactly is going on.

I can say that in the midst of still smiling, I am a little disappointed about this cold, and I kept trying to figure out how it happened since I pride myself on staying well. I often brag about how I rarely get sick and that is because I make a huge effort to stay healthy. Now that I am here, owning my cold, I can say that I don't like owning it.

Who enjoys being sick?
That's the big question of the day. Today I was thinking about how so many people take their health for granted. I have one silly little cold and I am NOT happy. As much as I am staying positive, and sticking to my routine and not "sickly," I am somewhat debilitated since I know I have to address this cold with purpose. It was not in my plans for this weekend. So I ask the people who do little to nothing to care for their health, how you can make a choice to "risk" getting sick?

Where did I catch my cold? I know exactly (I believe in my heart) where I caught it. I was paying attention the moment that it happened, but I foolishly decided not to worry about the circumstances at the time. It was truly a foolish decision. We can't live with regrets, but we can certainly learn from things when they happen.

It was Wednesday.

Wednesday I ran over to the supermarket to pick up a few things and I was in a huge hurry. I had about 8 things and so I got on the "express" lane . There she was, the woman who would infect me. I watched my fate unfold and did nothing about it. Sometimes we think we are rushing and we make choices that we think are saving us time and come to find out that we actually signed up for a bigger delay later on down the road. We do this a lot with driving to places, like when we try to avoid a traffic jam on the highway and get off and take the side streets.

I got to the lane and was holding my basket of few items when I happened to look at this "checkout lady" blowing her nose as she was ringing up the person in front of me. She did not look well at all. I should have gotten off the line and picked another, but my true thought to myself was, "you don't catch colds Jacquie so don't worry about this one." After she blew her nose, I saw her grab one anti-bacterial wipe and quickly wipe her fingers, and then get back to "ringing" the items. The bell needed to ring in my head to run away right then and there! Can you imagine that I actually worried about the person in front of me catching her cold. He was a very elderly gentleman and I wondered if he had a strong enough immune system to resist her germs.

What happened after is what I finally remembered today. She had a way about how she was handling the food as she rang it up. She would grip and touch like she "cared" about your food. Personally, I thought to myself (today), given the fact that she had a cold, she should have been barely touching the stuff, exercising huge caution to keep her germs to herself. Wait... no. She should have been home, taking care of herself. But who knows what her circumstances are and perhaps she needed to be at work.

Part of my makeup these days is to try to stay calm and positive and not be quick to believe that everything will end in a mishap. So I told myself that I would be fine. I even said to myself, "just go home and wash everything thoroughly and all will be fine." Well, by the time I got home, I had forgotten all of that... even about the "checkout lady."

Germs (bacteria) can live on things for days. By Thursday night, the symptoms were unearthing and I was infected. I truly could not figure out what item that she touched, that I touched, that got me sick, but it happened, and that is what I believe.

Lesson to be learned, "avoid sick people." Do not take chances, especially if you are not taking great care of yourself, and do not take it for granted just because you do take care of yourself. It happens to the best of us. The funny thing is I know this lesson as I usually exercise it. I have turned down invites, canceled functions, kept my children home... whenever I found out someone else was sick. I have turned around and left establishments when I witnessed someone who worked in places coughing and or blowing their nose. I can't pinpoint what was on my mind on Wednesday and why I chose to ignore this woman's condition, and perhaps it happened for a reason.

Perhaps the reason was to (a) remind me that being careful and continuing to be healthy is still my FIRST priority in life, (b) remind me that we are embarking upon cold/flu season and to be ready to fight, (c) to be able to share this with others so that they too can be careful, choose to be healthy and be ready to fight!

With that, I guess one could say that I made a choice to catch a cold!

Luckily I am able to still exercise which means my cold is just a "little" cold. I did choose to sweat a little today though it was to be a rest/stretch day (Day 28 of P90X), so I wore my X-vest with 12lbs of weight and did the elliptical machine for 45 minutes and some ab work thereafter. Just enough to get a good sweat but not overly exhausting. I drank lots of water while on the machine. Exercise keeps the mind and body empowered. Often times people get so down on themselves when they get sick and it's actually a good time to get UP on yourself and say, "I will defeat this!"

About the common cold: There is no cure, once you catch it, you have to deal with it. There is only the fight! The symptoms you endure are the fight. While you fight, you need to strengthen as well. Drink lots of fluids to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid dehydration because it causes other problems. Eat healthy foods to strengthen the immune system. Remember that over the counter medications only mask the symptoms, help you to MAYBE feel more comfortable, but they do NOT cure anything at all. If you are not feeling better in a few days, go see a doctor!!

Very important to remember: after you get sick, your immune system has been triggered (weakened) and so if you do not build it up to be even stronger than before, it can be triggered again. This is why some people get sick a few times a year, and you hear them say, "I can't believe I am sick again."

Build and Strengthen!!!

Stay well! Take good care of yourself!

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