SHOULD YOU EXERCISE WHEN YOU ARE SICK
When you are feeling a bit down or a bit blue, should you turn to your regular exercise routine, or sit one out to rest and relax?
26 Mar 2020
You proudly stick to a regular exercise schedule, but suddenly you develop a fever, or start feeling the symptoms of some illness. What should you do? Should you give the treadmill a pass, and skip that yoga class for an afternoon nap instead?
Sweat it out, or rest and recover?
While many people say it’s okay to exercise with a cold or with a headache, the truth depends on what ails you, and how ill you feel. If you exercise with a fever, chances are you will end up with a raised internal body temperature, which can be dangerous and can make you feel much worse.
Listen to your body
If your symptoms are generally mild, like you have a runny nose or a stomach ache, you're probably in no danger to continue with light exercise, but defintley avoid areas like the gym. Listen to your body and base your routine on the severity of your symptoms.
If you are suffering from severe symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, then avoid the gym and any heavy exercise. If you feel the urge to exercise, choose an activity that doesn’t make you feel more sick. A yoga session may help you relax for example, where a few minutes on the treadmill may make you nauseous.
In case of severe illness, consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making any decisions, and follow one simple rule - Only do what you can, and don’t do what you can’t. If you don’t feel like exercising due to your health, it is absolutely okay! Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Change up your workout
Choosing the right exercise is as important as knowing when to exercise and when not to. Low-intensity workouts like walking, yoga and swimming are some great ways to exercise without getting totally exhausted or worn out. High-intensity training in the gym, power lifting, sports activities, and exercising in extreme hot/cold temperatures will push your body to its limits, and could cause more harm than good.
Some illnesses take longer to heal than others. To encourage recovery and avoid disrupting your routine, wait out your illness and restart exercising once you are back to normal and feel alright again. Start slow and keep your workouts short, giving yourself enough time to get back in to the swing of things.