Should You Work Out While You’re Sick?

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Should You Work Out While You’re Sick?

We’re right in the middle of cold and flu season, and some of you might be feeling under the weather. You don’t really want to put your exercise regimen or weight loss plan on hold, so you might be wondering if it’s safe to continue working out while you’re sick. The answer to that question is: It depends on your symptoms and how you feel overall.

It’s okay to work out if…

  • Your symptoms are all “above the neck” (you just have a cold)
  • You pay careful attention to hydration

In fact, working out while you have a cold can be helpful, especially if you exercise outdoors. A small amount of activity can help you feel better, clear the airways, and boost your immune system just a bit. However, you should take it easier than usual, and listen to your body. If exercise makes you feel worse, give it up and try again tomorrow.

You should abstain from exercise if… 

  • You’re dehydrated (often the case if you’ve suffered vomiting or diarrhea recently)
  • You have a fever (working out now can make the fever worse, and dehydrate you)
  • You have more severe symptoms (body aches, trouble breathing, stomach pain, weakness, nausea)

It can be frustrating to put your workout regimen on pause, especially if you’re really wanting to see results from your weight loss plan. But it is always better to postpone things by a few days, than run the risk of injury or making an illness worse. Take time to recuperate, and you can get back on track soon.

When it’s time to start exercising again… You might feel a bit weak or sore if you’ve been sick for several days or more. Start your first workout slowly, and follow your body’s signals. You can add a bit more difficulty each day, until you’re back at your regular performance level (this might take about a week). Exercise in the morning, when you have more energy, and do remember to continue drinking plenty of water.

If you have more questions about your workout routine or weight loss plan, give us a call. We can get you on track with nutrition advice and the support you need to reach your goals.