The stomach flu is an unpleasant illness to deal with for anyone as it prevents you from engaging in your normal activities. The gastrointestinal virus typically results in vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, chills, fever, fatigue and dizziness. If you are a runner, you will not be able to do your daily workouts when stuck at home ill. Although most cases of the stomach flu clear up within a day or two, it is important to ease back into your usual running routine to aid your body in healing.
Rehydrate after the stomach flu and before you start running again. Vomiting and diarrhea lead to a loss of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Dehydration will cause further lethargy and dizziness that will decrease your ability to run and could lead to fainting or the inability to complete a workout. Avoid drinks that are high in sugar as this may cause further stomach distress. Instead, aim to drink water, natural juices, herbal teas and plain broths every few hours to rehydrate for physical activity.
Shorten your usual running workout after the stomach flu. Stomach bugs can make you feel weak, even a few days after they have passed. Avoid doing hard workouts at this time and instead opt for shorter workouts that require light effort. In other words, you should be able to carry on a conversation while jogging. For example, start by jogging for 20 to 30 minutes the first couple of days back and progress when you start to feel more like your old self.
Rest after your first few runs back after the stomach flu. After finishing a short run, rehydrate, take a warm bath and relax. Rushing from one activity to the next can leave you tired and weak when your body still needs time to recover from the flu. Take some time to take care of your body by curling up with a good book or watching a movie at home -- activities that don't require too much exertion.
- Always consult with a health professional before starting any new exercise routine that could affect your health. Also seek medical supervision if your stomach flu has further complications or you are feeling unwell and not ready to return to regular activities.
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.