Should I Exercise while Sick?

Should I Exercise while Sick?

Although we all know that staying healthy is the ticket to a long and happy life, many of us don’t exercise often and eat our fruits and veggies. But even if we take strides to improve our health — whether that be through a dieting program or fitness regimen — there are still life circumstances that can get in the way. One of the circumstances that can throw your whole mind and body out of whack is sickness. Many people rest and take it easy when they come down with a sickness. However, some experts say that exercise shouldn’t be restricted altogether in some cases.

In this post, we’ll dive into the topic of exercising while sick and determine whether it’s a smart move or not.

What Sickness Do You Have?

If you’re trying to decide whether your illness means you should hang up your running shoes for a bit or throw them on, then there are some factors you should consider. The first thing you should think about is what kind of sickness you have. If you have a minor cold, then exercising should be OK. But one vital factor is if you have a fever or not. If a fever is present, then exercising should be restricted. This is due to the fact that exercising naturally raises your body temperature. If you already have a fever, then exercising can make the sickness even worse.

Listen to Your Body

Many medical experts suggest listening to your body when it comes to working out or not. If you’re feeling achy, feverish, and pretty sick, then you may want to sit this one out. But if you have a little sniffle, take some meds, and don’t feel too bad, then exercising probably won’t be an issue. The key is to know your limits, listen to your body, and never overdo it. Although sitting around all day sounds lazy and boring, sometimes it’s what your body really needs.

Try Yoga or Pilates

While exercising while sick might make you even sicker, some great alternatives are pilates or yoga. There are some sicknesses where you should really rest and take it easy, but yoga or pilates is a regenerative activity that isn’t very extreme — and it’s also very healthy!

Where Are Your Symptoms?

Another area of concern to pay attention to is where you’re having symptoms. Many medical experts suggest that if you have symptoms above the neck, then it’s fine to exercise. But if symptoms fall below the neck, then it’s probably best to rest until the symptoms go away. Symptoms above the neck include a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes. On the other hand, symptoms below the neck typically involve a fever, coughing, body aches, and fatigue.

Is It a Mild Cold?

The most common sickness, the seasonal cold, is something that the majority of us deal with every single year. But when it comes to cold symptoms, they’re mild for some people and more extreme for others. Generally, it is OK to exercise if you have one of these colds, but that’s only if symptoms aren’t extreme and you feel up to it. If you’re feeling less energetic, don’t try to overdo it, which could lead to worsening the cold. If you’re not feeling it, try to decrease the intensity of the workout until symptoms start to subside.

Have a Mild Sore Throat?

Oh no — you start to feel that tickle in the back of your throat. If you’re like most people, then this is a clear indication that sickness or allergies is coming on. As you’ve been killing it at the gym lately, does this mean you should stay home instead? According to medical professionals, they say it depends on if you have other symptoms and how severe those are. 

If you have a sore throat accompanied by a fever, cough, or difficulty swallowing, then it’s best to rest and limit exercise. But if it’s a mild sore throat stemming from a possible cold or allergies, then working out should be safe. However, that doesn’t mean doctors advise running a marathon when sick. Studies show that extreme exercise can actually weaken the immune system for a few days. That being said, try to have a lighter workout if you have a mild sore throat or other mild symptoms.

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