FROM THE VAULT: Statistics say you'll catch two to four colds per winter, regardless of rigorous application of hand sanitizer and avoidance of sick coworkers. We know your workouts are important to you, but during a cold, can exercise actually further compromise an already stressed immune system—or help it?
A 2001 study conducted by Albert Moraska and Monika Fleshner and published in the The American Journal of Physiology found that the intensity of exercise can either enhance or suppress immune function. Considerable research shows that during moderate exercise, several positive changes occur in the immune system, whereas strenuous or lengthy exercise sessions are followed by an impairment of the immune system.
Your best bet is to do a “neck check.” If your symptoms are located above the neck (e.g. stuffy nose and a sore throat), exercise at a moderate intensity is likely safe and possibly even beneficial. However, if there are “below-the-neck” symptoms such as a vomiting or diarrhea and if you have a fever, allow yourself to rest.
One of the many fantastic benefits of the TRX is its ability to adapt to any level of strenuousness. So if you feel a cold coming on, or if everybody in your house is coughing, give this easily regressable TRX workout a try, which may save you the misery of three weeks of a cold. Perform 45 seconds of each exercise. (NOTE: The video is a bit longer than usual, but we felt it was important to address each of the foundational movements and offer tips on how to regress them. Times have been provided for ease of viewing.)
1. TRX Assisted Squat (1:12)
Regression: Use the TRX more for assistance throughout the full range of motion.
2.TRX Chest Press (1:47)
Regression: Walk your feet forward to decrease your angle.
3.TRX Single Arm Row (2:30)
Regression: Walk your feet back to decrease your angle.
4. TRX Assisted Side Lunge (3:14)
Regression: Start with your feet apart and use the TRX for assistance throughout the full range of motion.
5. TRX I/T Shoulder Combo (3:56)
Regression: Take a longer offset foot stance and move both feet back to decrease your angle.
6. TRX Torso Rotation (4:44)
Regression: Walk your feet back to decrease your angle and rotate arms up at a higher angle.
7. TRX Hamstring Curl (5:29)
Regression: Slide forward so your feet are in front of the anchor point and gravity will assist you through the full range of motion.
8. TRX Assisted Knee Raises (6:30)
Regression: A greater knee bend will reduce the force through the range of motion.
These exercise regressions can be used for not just those feeling under the weather but many individuals from TRX newbies to the deconditioned to seniors... anyone who needs to scale back the intensity but not sacrifice results.
Shana Martin (www.shanamartin.com) is a TRX Senior Instructor, fitness expert, world champion lumberjack athlete, national spokesperson, fitness competitor, gymnast, pole vaulter, runner... the list goes on! Shana graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Kinesiology – Exercise Science. She is the current fitness director at Supreme Health and Fitness in Madison, and also does personal training and teaches group exercise. Shana was introduced to the TRX Suspension Trainer at the Club Industry Fitness Convention in Chicago after winning the TRX Atomic Push-up Challenge. Since then she has been using the TRX every day with every client. She also credits her sports success and fast rehabilitation after reconstructive knee surgery to the TRX.