Summer is supposed to be when you are outside and most active. But that’s not been true for me. I’m not entirely when I stopped working out this summer, but I suspect it was sometime this May when I got the flu. When I was in Montana I caught influenza A from my husband while we were buying our new homestead.
I was pretty under the weather for the entire month. I probably extended my suffering by being in a high stress situation for several week. I had to do things like attend a two hour property inspection while I was definitely still sick. And then a few days later I was stuck in a car for 8 hours straight back to Colorado. Thankfully my husband actually did the driving. Negotiating the emotions of buying our first house while sick wasn’t ideal either. That was arguably the most intensive part of the entire experience.
Going into May I was hiking and walking an hour a day along with several consistent months of a 3 day a week weight lifting split routine. My squats looked good and my tracker apps were pleased with my low level ambient activity. I was still struggling with fatigue but I felt like being active was surely the best way of improving my energy levels.
I’m not as convinced this is true anymore. There has been chatter for decades about post exertional malaise in various viral and autoimmune cases. It is regularly brought up now in long Covid as well. I’ve experienced some variant on and off for years whenever I have symptom flares. Even modest exertion like a short walk can lay me flat if I’m not feeling well.
As I had a lot of ups and downs in my symptoms in June in July I let even modest exercise efforts go entirely. Between traveling to hot climates like Texas and the Mediterranean I wasn’t exactly eager to be outside either. Heat is my nemesis. I’m probably one of the few people who can go spend time seaside and struggle to be outside unless I’m literally in the water. There is a reason I am so eager to move to Montana.
Looking at my various trackers and diaries the past three years I have seen aggressive declines in my physical activity levels over the summer. As heat domes and 100 degree days become the norm I just can’t tolerate a lot of time outside. The temperature barely dips below 80 even at nighttime. And if I try to be active in that kind of heat I see set backs in all my metrics.
I’ve got years of data at this point and it’s funny that I’m always at my fittest and most active in the dead of winter. Everyone else enjoys sweater weather and Christmas indulgence while I am lifting heavy, energetically watching my nutrition and reveling in the cold. Maybe you can take the Swede out of Scandinavia but you can’t take the Scandinavian out of the Swede.