Are You Too Sick for the Box?

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While most CrossFitters like to think of themselves as fairly durable and, in some cases, nearly invincible, they do sometimes encounter a problem that plagues every person who loves to work out: Illness.

Once a sickness has befallen a CrossFit enthusiast, what is one to do? While it can be tempting to simply “ignore” the issue and just head to the box, it’s not always the right idea. In fact, it can lead to further complications.

So how do you know if you’re too sick for the box? Try taking these simple assessments of your health:

#1: Do You Have a Fever?
If you answered “yes,” stay home. A fever is an indication that your body is fighting off infection. Until you get that infection under control, exercising will only elevate your body temperature and possibly make your health much worse.

#2: Are You Able to Get Ready for the WOD?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to just get dressed for your WOD, let alone do it. Extreme fatigue is a sign that you’d be better off taking a nice, steamy shower using your on demand hot water and then getting into bed or relaxing on the couch.

#3: Are You Coughing or Short of Breath?
As you might have guessed, you aren’t going to feel any better after you hit the box if you’re already coughing up a storm. Plus, you’ll just annoy your workout brethren with your continuous hacking. Keep your germs at home and give your lungs the break they need.

#4: Are You Taking Heavy-Duty Medications?
These don’t have to just be prescription medicines, over-the-counter remedies can be problematic, too. This is especially true of all those drugs that make you drowsy. First of all, if you’re taking them, you shouldn’t drive yourself anywhere, let alone to the box. Secondly, once you’re doing the WOD, you’ll be at risk of really hurting your body because you might not realize you’re overdoing it thanks to the “masking” effect of heavy-duty painkillers.

#5: Have You Been Able to Eat or Drink Much in the Past 24 Hours?
If you’re dehydrated because of the flu, vomiting or diarrhea, do yourself a favor and stay out of the box. You absolutely need to increase your nutritional and fluid levels before you start exercising again, or you might just put yourself back in bed… or even the ER if you’re not careful.

#6: Has the Doctor Told You That You’re Contagious?
Even if you feel awesome, stay away from other CrossFitters if you’ve been told you’re contagious! This is more for them than for you, quite honestly. After all, no one wants your sickness.

#7: Are Your Joints Aching Because of Your Illness?
This is usually a sign of the flu, and it’s a good idea to listen to your body in this case. Unless you’re certain that your aches are just from overtraining, be wise and err on the side of caution.

#8: Have You Broken Anything?
Finally, we need to ask this question. Even though this may seem obvious, if you have broken any bones in your body, please get better before coming back to your CrossFit routine. A broken ankle won’t suddenly benefit from harsh pounding and jarring; neither will a broken rib. You’ll only risk doing more damage and having to ultimately wait even longer to get back to the workout you love.

Again, we totally sympathize with the difficult decision to go home rather than do CrossFit. However, we also know that the fastest way back to the box is to be smart and listen to your body!

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