Working Out While Sick - Good Idea Or Not

Working Out While Sick - Good Idea Or Not

If you exercise regularly, you know what it''s like to wake up and feel sick, then immediately wonder if working out that day is a good idea or not. If bed rest and fluids are a generally prescribed plan, how can exercise make sense? And yet, some doctors say that it won''t have any effect on the severity or duration of your cold symptoms. Some will tell you yes, go exercise, but others will say no - what''s the right answer?

Exercise is commonly known to be good for boosting your immune system, and certainly when you''re sick it''s your
immune system that needs boosting. However, there are times when a workout might have a negative effect on your body. When you exercise, your heart rate increases, no matter what type of exercise you''re doing, i.e. yoga, weights, cardio and so on. Your core body temperature also increases, causing you to sweat more, thus depleting you of water. When you''re healthy this is all right, of course, but when you''re sick it can have a negative impact. Fluids when you''re sick help you to flush out the toxins, to cool down a fever, and to carry away other germs that might cause a future illness (remember that when you''re sick you''re even more vulnerable to other germs!). Plus, increasing your core body temperature when you''re already running a fever can be dangerous - even deadly.

But if you''re clearly not running a fever, it might be okay to do a light workout, according to some. If you''re merely congested and sneezing, light exercise might help you feel a little better, but be sure not to over-exert yourself. And if you think you might be contagious, consider others around you - sneezing on your fellow yogis might not be appreciated! And this is a good time to get in the habit of wiping down the machines you''re using at the gym - before AND after you use them. Decreasing the spread of germs helps everyone.

And certainly if you have symptoms such as chest congestion, muscle aches, chills, and abdominal upset, you may have the flu. In this case it is definitely advisable to rest until your symptoms disappear - exercising while you have the flu can prolong the illness or even make it worse. Skipping a workout or two might get you better faster than if you were to workout with the flu.

If you''re not sure how bad your symptoms are, whether or not you have a fever or think you might be contagious, just take some time off. It could be better for you in the long run. Pun intended.