You’re feeling a bit under the weather today, but you’re determined to get your workout in. After all, you’ve been sticking to your routine and so far things are going great, but should you exercise if you are sick?
There’s nothing worse than being on top of your workout plan only to run into a roadblock. Life, itself offers up plenty of roadblocks all on its own, but now this? Unfortunately, sickness gives us no warning. If it did, we could schedule accordingly.
Now, common belief would insist that we forgo the workout and allow our bodies to recover. After all, without proper rest it’s quite possible that what ails us may linger on longer than necessary. Yet, we sure hate to take a few steps backwards in our workout progress.
We believe the following rules should be adhered to when deciding whether to exercise if you are sick.
- To begin with, if you work out primarily at a gym, don’t go. Gyms are germ factories. I don’t want your illness and I doubt anyone else in the gym does either. Keep all of us in mind before joining us.
- The general rule of thumb to keep in mind when determining whether you should exercise if you are sick is, are your symptoms are above the neck? If so, you’re good to go. Refrain from exercise if the symptoms are below the neck, such as your lungs or stomach.
- If you’re running a fever, have muscle aches or feel nauseous don’t work out. These are typical flu symptoms and if so, dehydration is common with this illness. Working out will only worsen it. You’ll be hard pressed to maintain a proper fluid level as it is. Don’t aggravate it.
- Let your body be your guide. A quicker recovery may come by taking it easy. Too intense of a workout may very well prolong your illness. Now you’ll really be going backwards.
- Keep in mind that a few days without exercise won’t jeopardize your performance.
If you are determined to exercise if you are sick, follow these guidelines.
- Keep your workout to a mild to moderate level. Reduce the intensity and don’t over do it.
- Listen to your body. If it feels fatigued, take a break.
- Substitute an intense workout with a walk or short jog. You’ll keep the juices flowing without putting added stress on your already stressed body.
- Don’t neglect the fluids. Dehydration is a common issue with illness and exercise will only amplify it. Stay hydrated.
- Once you reach a point of full recovery, return to your workout routine gradually. Start slow and work your way back up to your former intensity level.
Moderation really is the key should you exercise if you are sick. There’s even some evidence that suggests that it might even be helpful. Exercise helps to open up your nasal passages and improves your breathing abilities.
Above all, use your main muscle…the brain. Apply common sense and keep in mind that getting better is the main objective here, not maintaining your exercise routine. Pushing the limits could create an injury or prolong your illness. If there’s any doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.