Should I Workout If I'm Sick?

fitness tips Jan 28, 2019

Cold and flu season is the pits! Sometimes no matter how hard you try NOT to get sick, it just happens. Which can really throw off your day to day life, including your fitness routine. Often times people wonder, "Should I exercise when I am sick?" The answer is really dependent on a few factors.


First, you should evaluate your illness. Is it above the neck, ie. common cold? If so, it's probably okay to exercise. According to Dr. Allison Mitzner, often times a little exercise when suffering from the common cold, can actually help you to feel better and boost your immune system. Keeping things low impact, maybe some light resistance training, walking, cycling, or other active recovery type exercise is going to be best for your body. Don't overdo things by hitting them gym hard when you're sick as your body is trying to direct energy and resources to fighting off that cold.


If your illness is below the neck or you have a fever or the flu, skip your workout and take it easy! Exercising with a fever will raise your body temperature even more and can put you at risk for seizures or other side effects from high fever. If you've had the fever or the flu but it dissipates, allow your body to be fever free for at least 3 days to fully recover from your illness. Jumping right back into it can aggravate your immune system and possibly set back your recovery.


Also keep in mind that if you exercise in a gym, going when sick can spread germs to others. Be considerate of others and avoid taking your germs to public places if possible.


Lastly, you know your body best so listen to it! If it's telling you to rest, by all means, rest! There are times when you should push through and workout when you don't feel like it, but when you're sick is not one of those times! Allow your body to rest and direct energy to fighting off that illness. The more you allow your body to recover, the faster you'll be back at it!


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