When I exercise and am fighting a cold, a few hours later I start feeling awful. I get chills, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sore throat, swollen glands, and flu-like achiness (unlike the type you get from sore muscles after a workout). These symptoms can last up to a week, and make my original virus 10x worse. The harder I push myself, the longer I'll be sick for. My doctor explained that this is called Exercise Intolerance.
Despite knowing how my body reacts, I have tried over and over to just push myself through it. The latest example was at the beginning of November when I could feel myself fighting a slight cold. I kept exercising and I still haven't recovered from where I was before November. I keep hoping that maybe this time will be different, and maybe this time I'll be able to just "sweat it out".
One of my weaknesses is caring too much about what others think. I feel like people look at me and think "lazy" or "must not really want to get better" when I'm not exercising. When I bring up 'Exercise Intolerance', it sounds like the most B.S. made-up thing designed for lazy people. If I try to explain how I feel like I have the flu after exercising, people compare it to their intense exhaustion or muscle achiness after a workout. I was healthy and active for most of my life, trust me, I know what post-workouts feel like.
"A related concept is the idea that a “threshold” exists at which something pathologic happens in the body because of exercise or activity, and that exceeding that threshold can cause post-exertional malaise. Knowing exactly what happens at the threshold, where the threshold is, and how we can raise the threshold are questions that have proven difficult to answer, at least in some patients."
So lately I've been spending a lot of time researching easy strength and flexibility exercises that can be done lying down. I'm hoping that short, low exertion activities won't trigger Exercie Intolerance and will prevent deconditioning.
I'm currently working on some new "Exercise" pages for my "POTS Advice" section, so stay tuned.