You can finally breathe through your nose again and stopped hacking up a lung every ten minutes, but is it safe to get back into your workout routine? Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson is here to help you build back up to your pre-cold strength.
Peterson advises consulting with your doctor first.
“The rule of thumb is to get the green light from you doctor! But if you are going rogue, I would say as long as you don’t have a fever and you listen to your body, get started as soon as you can,” he tells PEOPLE. “The key is to not jump back in where you left off: start with less weight and intensity, and workout for less overall time. Less is definitely more in this case.”
And unlike coming back from an injury, when you have to avoid straining certain body parts, he says to focus on your heart rate and breathing.
“If you were inactive due to an injury or a surgery, then common sense rules the day when inching closer to the area that was hurt. That is very different from inactivity due to being ill,” Peterson says. “After illness, be aware of how taxing your workout is cardiovascularly and err on the side of less.”
To rebuild strength without tiring your body, he suggests “bigger movements.”
“Multi-joint movements — squats, push-ups, bent over rows — all put a greater metabolic demand on the body and can be effective when performed with very light weight to get you back up and running,” Peterson says. “Think bigger movements, not bigger weight when you are on the mend.”
“You’re in control with these workouts, and you can modify them as needed or reduce the number of reps to work at an intensity you’re comfortable with,” he says.