You’ve recently felt blah. Whether it was the cold, the flu, or something more serious, the blah might be gone, but you still don’t feel like your spunky self. Unfortunately, there’s no magic word that brings us instantly back to health after being sick. But, with these 5 ways to get energy back after an illness, you can start to feel better, faster.
From eating the right foods to resuming exercise, you can make your body feel better so you can go back to feeling more like your old self. But it takes time to recover. What’s more, illnesses are not all alike. The cold that took you a few days to get over last time might be laying you out for a week or two this time around. Listen to the body and ease back into the regular routine. It might be frustrating, but it’s your best chance for a speedier recovery.
If you’re as busy as our crew at Skinny Ms., it really might seem as though you don’t have time for recovering from illness. The fact is, however, that you owe it to yourself to make the time. Tired, stressed-out bodies are bodies more likely to get sick all over again, and you don’t want that—chances are, your family, boss, and co-workers don’t either!
5 Ways to Get Energy Back After an Illness
1. Reach for foods that help heal. If you’re early in recovery, especially after a stomach or intestinal illness, choose foods that are easy to digest, like brown rice, dry toast, apples, or bananas. When the body is ready to handle a normal menu, choose clean-eating foods that are rich in the nutrients you need to fully recover, without the added chemicals and processed ingredients the body doesn’t need. The best energy foods after illness include superfoods, which are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Try our Superfoods Smoothie or the Big 5 Superfood Smoothie. Other smart choices include these 50 Clean-Eating Snacks.
2. Hydrate yourself. Water is the unsung hero of recovering from illness. It flushes toxins from the system so cells can devote energy to getting well rather than fighting germs, viruses, and other nasties. H20 also keeps lymph fluid flowing properly, which helps the body fight remaining traces of the illness by distributing white blood cells throughout your system. Enjoy plain water or try these Flavored Water Recipes.
3. Avoid energy saps. Say “no” to foods that drain energy—think bad carb-heavy choices, like donuts or sugary, processed cereals. The starchiness in white pastas and breads can make a body feel run down, too, by spiking and then dropping blood sugar levels; stick with whole wheat choices instead. In addition, fried foods sink energy levels by putting the digestive system into overdrive so it can process the excess fat. Stock up on the best foods for your body with Foods to Avoid and Foods to Include in Meal Planning.
4. Start exercising. Exercise creates a demand for energy, so the body produces it naturally to meet the demand, so when it comes to recovering from illness, exercise may beat back some of the fatigue that comes with it. But don’t push yourself too hard at first, especially if it’s been a few weeks since your last workout. For example, if you typically run 2 miles in the morning, start with shorter distances so you don’t overtax the body. Other options to try include the Shape Up Size Down Beginner’s Workout, which is easy to adapt to recovering energy levels, and this Yoga for Relaxation. (NOTE: If you’re recovering from a prolonged or serious illness, always check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay to resume exercise.)
5. Ask for a hand. Taking on too much, too soon can plunk you right back into that sick bed. Help get energy back after illness by asking others to take on responsibilities temporarily. For instance, ask a spouse, partner, or parent to act as the kids’ activity taxi for a few days. If you care for an aging parent, see if a friend or family member can take over for a day or two; perhaps even consider brief respite care.
Feel better soon!
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