Should you exercise when you are sick?

Your workout routine is going great and you are feeling good about yourself and the results of your hard work. But then you find yourself under the weather. We have all been there. Is this an excuse to get out of your workout? Do you need to sit out, maybe disrupting the routine you have worked out to establish?

The answer depends on the illness. As a rule of thumb, most medical professionals will advise continuing your workout routine (albeit at a lower intensity) if the symptoms are above the neck: sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, head congestion. If your symptoms are below the neck (cough, stomach/digestive problems, body aches, fever) you can benefit more from rest.

Most people will actually feel better as a result of the workout. Increased blood flow and a good sweat can increase your endorphins, masking the symptoms you are experiencing. In addition, the activity can help promote your immune system and help you sleep better.

One caveat to working out while sick is that your intensity should not match what you do while healthy. High intensity workouts, strength training, and endurance work are not the best options while you are suffering from a head cold. Better options include restorative workouts like yoga or Pilates, jogging or walking, or swimming.

There are some instances when you skip your workout and that includes when you have a fever. Since your internal body temperature is already high, exercising, which causes an increase in internal temperature, too, can be dangerous. Another time to avoid a workout is when you are dealing with a stomach bug. Rest is going to be more beneficial to you than a workout.

Lastly, although exercising while sick is not always a bad thing, sharing your germs with others is never okay. That means you should be keeping your workout to yourself by working out at home or outdoors, where you are not likely to spread your germs. Your fellow gym rats will not be happy to see if when you are sneezing or sniffling.

Since exercise helps boost your body’s natural defense against illness, so a regular exercise routine can help you avoid the problem in the first place.

Mile High Fitness can help you keep active when illness strikes with our Results Series DVDs. There are four DVDs to choose from:  Yoga, Cardio Dance, Kickboxing and Interval Training. All are designed for beginner/intermediate levels.  Visit our website to order yours today! http://www.milehighfitness.com/personaltraining/results-series-dvds/

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/exercising-when-sick

http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/working-out-while-sick/

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