Should I Work Out When I’m Sick?

Should I Work Out When I’m Sick?

I have been getting a lot of emails from sick Fitin5 clients asking if they should continue their training.

First let’s talk about preventing getting sick. Exercise strengthens your immune system and helps you ward off wintertime colds and flu. However, certain types of activity can spike levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that suppresses your ability to fight off germs and infection. The key is to be strategic with your training to strike the perfect balance.

When those around you are sick, consider temporarily shortening your workout duration and make them more intense sessions like HIIT, burpees or cycling.

When you’re already sick

When you’re not feeling 100 percent, there’s nothing wrong with doing moderate work. That could be a relaxed spin or easy strength session or a yoga or barre class. This can be a good time to challenge yourself with something new, rather than something intense. Relatively short, easier workouts shouldn’t increase the duration or severity of a basic head cold.

When you should really stay in bed

Conditions affecting the lungs and gut which lodge themselves in your core and GI tract and don’t respond well to the additional load of activity. Nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and coughing up phlegm signal that you’re already battling a major invader, and that working out could tank your immune system even further.

Ultimately, your overall energy levels provide the best insight into whether going to the gym will sabotage your ability to return to healthy. Take into account whether you slept well the night before, as well as how you are feeling. Sometimes, it’s better to take the day off to focus on recovery.

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