Should You Work Out When You Are Sick?

When you are sick, you may not feel particularly motivated to work out. Truth be told, that might be just fine because you could do your body more harm than good if, when you are sick, you power through a brisk run or a yoga class. To find out whether or not people who are feeling ill should work out, exercise, do yoga, etc., we sought out the opinion of professional trainers and medical experts. The following are the results.


Scale Back If You Have a Cough or Cold

You might just need to scale back on the intensity of your workout if you’re suffering from nothing more than a cough or simple cold. Sometimes, your immunity can be boosted, and you may even feel better, with mild exercise. It may also take your mind off how bad you feel, rather than just sitting around feeling miserable.

If you are facing respiratory infections, you may find strength exercises more doable than cardio. People with sinus pressure or a sore throat, to help ease symptoms, break up the congestion, and release bodily toxins, may consider a light to moderate workout. Don’t skip your workout if you’ve got nothing more than a runny nose. Have an active recovery day by scaling back a bit on your workout.

Now That We Said That… 

We are not saying that you don’t deserve a break. Always give yourself permission to rest, particularly when you’re sick. But your body requires energy to heal, so a light workout could be just what you need.

Skip the Workout With a Flu or Fever

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your symptoms occur below the neck, skip the workout. You don’t want to raise your body temperature more than it already is, if you have a fever, so this rule applies to a fever as well as below the neck symptoms. Having “the chills” can also be included in this rule. Typically, flu symptoms (i.e., vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, chills) can last 4 to 5 days. Once you’re fully recovered, it’s okay to go back to your workout. Make sure that, for at least 24 hours, you have been fever-free before you begin your workouts again.

Listen to Your Body When There Are Aches and Pains

What about when you’re experiencing aches and pains? You can attempt to work out. If after 15 to 20 minutes you start feeling bad, stop. If you are wheezing or can’t catch your breath, in addition to muscle aches, this is your body telling you to stop working out. You may also feel excessively tired or fatigued when you’re sick, which can negatively affect your workout. To allow your body to feel better and recover, save your energy.

A lot can depend on how you feel. Would you feel better if you reserved your energy or do you feel like you’re up for exercising? You may come back even more determined than before when you realize that you missed working out while you were sick.

Need an assistant during your workouts? Consider purchasing one of today’s high-tech wearable health devices to monitor your heart rate, activity rate, stress rate, and more.