Tis the season to be sniffling.

Houston, we’ve got a problem!

It took 3 years and over a 1000 classes but it happened. I have had people of all ages, women of various stages of pregnancy in my classes with the studio temperature often being well above the guidelines and nothing. But this Thursday morning I have had a person faint in my class!

It’s a 6:45am class with about 25-30 people on average. The studio has 44 bikes it is not full. The studio warm but not steamy with a massive industrial fan at the front.

We started this tough profile including some strength pyramids and speed ladders which work so well on MatrixIC7 bikes. It was going well.

Morning classes are a bit different: quite a few people leave around 15min early – everyone has to get to work on time and there are not enough showers so some people cut the class short. I now know most of the faces. But there was one girl I have not seen before who with about 15min to go walked in front of my bike and headed towards the door. I do say “Bye” to everyone leaving early and they give me a smile or a wave. This girl though looked what I thought was upset. I actually thought she did not enjoy the class. She did not look at me.

I continued teaching but with the corner of my eye I saw her standing next to the door she had just opened: “If she wants to leave, why stand there holding the door?”. I cued the last step of the speed ladder. Then I looked at her and saw her eyes were closed and she didn’t hold the door, she was more leaning against it. And then she went forward with half a turn and started sliding down the door with her back to it. I flew off my bike! I grabbed her before she hit the floor. She was clutching a water bottle and thankfully wasn’t completely out.

I shouted for the receptionist. When I asked the girl: “Are you all right?” she whispered: “I have been unwell. I shouldn’t have come”. She was sitting on the floor for a couple of minutes before she was able to stand up with our help. “Oh God! The class!” – I thought – “I told them to go at 100RPM. I need to change the cue or they will all faint!” so I jumped up trying to still continue with the class. After sipping on Lucozade the girl was taken to reception.

And I went back to finish off the class. The studio is so big half of the people had no clue what happened…

This whole situation brought today’s topic on:

SHOULD YOU EXERCISE WHEN SICK/ILL/UNWELL?

Exercise is usually OK if your symptoms are all “above the neck.” We are talking common cold, such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or minor sore throat. Consider reducing the intensity and length of your workout. And remember to get changed from your wet kit as soon as you can. If the studio temperature is low or there is a big fan, when you cool down go out and stretch outside. Prepare for feeling worse when you cool down completely.

If you’ve got a fever, hitting the gym is a definite no-no. Your grandma used to say it’s good to “sweat out” the fever? Yes, but under a duvet.

If you have been unwell and not eating properly rethink taking an early morning class when you only have like 30 minutes between waking up and going for it.

Do you really want to hurt me?

If you keep coughing and sneezing weigh the benefits of doing a half hearted workout and infecting half of the people in your class…

Do you really want to hurt yourself?

You may be thinking: “Oh, what’s the worst that could happen? If I don’t get the best workout it’s my business”. Well it’s no longer only yours if you faint or need medical help as a result. I could not stop thinking what would happen if that girl fainted on the bike! What if she fell off with her feet strapped? What if she just slumped on the handlebars and I wouldn’t notice straight away as she was sitting quite far?

So please: listen to your body, have a long night sleep, drink plenty of fluids (my brew of choice: a whole ginger root peeled and sliced, 2 whole lemons with skins quartered and a few spoons of honey; put in a saucepan, add a litre of water and boil the life out of it; drink hot; every time you reheat it, it gets stronger; add honey if needed).

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I REST my case!

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