Should You Work Out When You Are Sick?


If you aren’t feeling well, you may be wondering if you should bypass your workout and stay in bed instead; however, you don’t want to have to forego the gym every time you have the sniffles as that isn’t going to help you reach your goals.

So, how do you know when to push yourself and work through it and when to just wait until you feel better before breaking a sweat?

When to Set Aside Your Workouts

You should nix your workouts and stay home if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A fever
  • Muscle aches typically associated with the flu
  • A nagging cough
  • An upset stomach or diarrhea

All of these things can be made worse by working out, so you’re better off waiting until these symptoms pass before trying to resume your workout routine.

When to Work Through Your Symptoms

Some symptoms are okay to push through, and those include typical cold-like symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Frequent sneezing
  • A sore throat that is relatively minor in nature.

Are There Ever Any Exceptions to These General Guidelines?

You know your body better than anybody and how it is going to respond to exercise when you aren’t feeling up to par. So, if you have symptoms consistent with a cold and know that it almost always gets worse if you don’t slow down or stop your workouts entirely, then by all means don’t push yourself. Spending weeks unable to exercise because you didn’t lay off when you should have does you no good.

If you want to know for sure, ask your doctor what he or she recommends for you specifically. That way you will have advice based on your particular condition and overall health.

When it doubt, sit it out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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