Should I workout if I’m sick? How to tell whether to stay home or to push through.
When it comes to a common cold, you shouldn’t workout during the first day or two of symptoms. This is because your body uses the same mechanisms to recover from a cold as it does to recover from a workout. This means your workout would be less effective and could actually prolong your cold, taking even longer for you to get back to your regular workout routine.
Exercising on the first few days of a cold could actually be counterproductive to your long-term fitness goals. There is no such thing as ‘sweating out the virus.’ Instead, up your zinc, drink extra water, and use your workout time to get in some extra sleep.
By day three, you will probably still have the sniffles, but as long as you are feeling somewhat okay, you should be fine to return to your workout. You might want to lower the intensity to match your level of energy, but it is good to maintain your regular schedule so you don’t break your fitness habit. If you are getting worse, it has settled into your chest or if you have developed a fever, hold off on the workout.
You might be tempted to use simply feeling ‘under the weather’ as an excuse to skip your workout. While an occasional day off won’t hurt, repeatedly doing this will hamper your results. Taking long breaks in an established routine is a sure-fire way to fall off the fitness wagon. If you aren’t feeling up to your regular workout, try taking a walk or doing some yoga during your regularly scheduled workout time.
Skip the workout if you have a stomach virus or a fever. Also, stay home if you have something highly contagious such as pertussis or chicken pox. If you do decide to head to the gym, be courteous of others and wipe down the equipment when you are finished.
Skip your workout if
- You have a fever
- You have a chest cold/productive cough from your chest
- You have a stomach virus
- You have something highly contagious
If you do workout while you are sick, remember
- Wash your hands
- Stay extra hydrated
- Match your workout to your energy levels
- Wipe down any equipment you touch
Remember, it is best to STAY HEALTHY in the first place, so eat well and take care of yourself!
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