Tag Archives: sick

Allergy Sneezin’

27 Aug
You see the beautiful colors; I can't see anything because my eyes are watering.

You see the beautiful colors; I can’t see anything because my eyes are watering.

There are two type of people: spring people and fall people.

Spring people look forward to new life, fresh days and hopeful beginnings.

Fall people look forward to cold nights, extra clothes and dead, damp leaves.

If you can’t tell, I’m a spring person. I hate the fall. Usually, I’d say f— fall, but this is a family site.

One reason this is the worst time of the year is that it’s a harbinger of bad things to come, like the cold. It means winter is coming. There will be snow—black snow, poopy snow, yellow snow, rock salt, etc.

But the worst thing about fall is all of the allergens in the air. Some people who hate the spring hate it because of their allergy problems. I guess they have their issues, but ragweed in the fall makes me feel like my face is swelling.

I was a pretty bad asthmatic as a kid. I had inhalers everywhere: bookbag, bathroom, both parents’ cars, my grandparents’ house, etc. As i got older, my asthma became less and less of an issue.

One day in college, long after I’d given up my purple pump, I went to a fall festival across the street from my dorm. My friends said there were booths and a step show. Never one to miss out on a party, I crossed the street—straight into the land of allergic reactions. The second I stepped foot on the grass, my eyes watered up, my nose started running  and my throat tightened. I had to go to student health and have them issue me another inhaler and some allergy medicine.

It’s been that way for more than 15 years. But now that I’m more active, allergy season becomes a problem when breathing is a necessity during a workout. How can I still be able to burn calories without killing myself?

The one and only good thing about fall is that temperatures are ideal for running. But you can’t run if you can’t breathe. Mold from dead, damp leaves and kicked up dust mites from the dirt make it near impossible for me to pass air through my lungs. As much as I’d like to go out for a run in the 65-degree weather, I have to keep it indoors. The gym becomes my friend for a couple months during the fall.

It’s not all terrible. The fall was when I discovered spin class, Zumba and boot camp. It was when I started going to the gym with some regularity and became familiar with my friends Treadmill, Stationary Bike and Elliptical (hey, boos!). This season, I’m planning to make the free weights and kettle bells my bae. I can develop muscle tone while the soggy leaves are stirring up bad things in the air.

Even still, it’s during this time of year that I live for a good, hard rain. I will do my best to avoid running in it, but a downpour washes away a lot of the allergens. And as long as the parks department clears away the leaves pretty frequently, I can still get outside. The rain may cool things off too much, however, but that’s what running jackets are for.

No matter what your hangups, like the weather, don’t let it stop you from doing what needs to be done. If your nasal passages can’t handle the season’s change, try popping in an exercise video. Hit the gym and find a new workout. There are plenty of ways to burn calories, and sticking with one routine will only set you up for stagnation.

How do you deal with outdoor exercising when the weather gives you no chill?

photo credit: Douglas Brown via photopin cc

Sick Day

2 Apr
These were spread all over my house while I was sick.

These were spread all over my house while I was sick.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m like a toddler. In addition to an inability to handle hunger and sleep deprivation well, I also am a nightmare when I’m sick. There’s no easier way to say this: I’m mean.

I lose all patience for other people and their problems when I have my first sniffle. It’s just another personality quirk that I think others need to deal with.

When I returned from sunny, warm Rio to cloudy, cold New York, I had a jacked-up head cold. From the time I got off the plane, I was sneezing and coughing. My boss told me that I sound like his children when they’re stuffed up, words that did nothing to boost my ego (or my immune system).

I could handle being sick because I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. What pissed me off, though, was how this case of sniffles impeded my workout plan. Before I lost the battle of the sniffles, I had gone the gym twice that week. The first time, I couldn’t make it 30 minutes without shutting it down. My second wind swooped in for my second visit, allowing me a full hour of cardio and in a few crunches. That was the calm before the storm, though, as the next day had me struggling to breathe through my nose. My plans to shed the Brazil pounds had to be put on hold.

The one-two punch of diet and exercise was going to have to wait. With exercise on the back burner, I’d have to focus on diet while trying to clear the gunk out of my face. One of the best lessons I learned during my weight-loss journey was the need for preparation. Having a stocked cabinet and freezer often kept me from stopping by Wendy’s on my way home. Why spend on a spicy chicken sandwich when I had chicken breasts and hot sauce at home?

That lesson came in handy as the tissues piled up around me. I’d gone to the grocery store soon after my return, so I had a plenty of good things to cook. One of the first things I made was chicken noodle soup. Instead of doing a separate recipe post, I’ll give you the basics: cook the chicken, boil some broth, add noodles and frozen veggies. Ta-da!

It’s easier to take care of yourself when you’ve prepared ahead of time. Having a few go-to recipes in your stable can make or break you sometimes while on this journey, especially when your body is telling you to shut it down.

What do you do on your sick days that can allow you to stay on track?