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Working Out While Sick - Yay or Nay?

Heather Hudson

As “flu season” approaches or is in full swing, many of us come down with sniffles or worse. If you’re happily addicted to working out as I am, then you might consider still hitting the bags even when you’re sick. Most people who are fit feel worse when they skip their workout.

So, is this working out when you’re under the weather a good idea or something to skip?

There are a couple of easy ways to factor this. If your symptoms are mostly above the neck, meaning: stuffy nose, sore throat, etc, you are most likely ok to do a medium to light workout. However, if you have a throbbing pressure in your head, this might not be something you want to do at all, so you may wish to stick to things that do not require jumping or impact. Static lunges, squats, pushups, sit ups,  and simple bodyweight exercises are a go to for this situation.

If you’re dealing with symptoms below the neck, like a chest cough or anything stomach related, or you have a fever, it is probably best to forget the workout until these symptoms subside. Side note: if you’re having these symptoms you most likely won’t even be considering working out anyway!

Last week I had a stuffy head cold and worked out anyway. I took it easy, listened to my body and slowed it down a bit. I did feel better for it, as most people who work out regularly do. So, in my opinion it was worth it. I rarely get sick, so when I do I’m completely annoyed, and have a stubborn refusal to alter up my routine. All I’m thinking is: “I do NOT have time to be sick.” I’m sure you can relate!

For me, sweating it out a little feels almost healing and helps the process along. I followed it up with a nice hot broth based soup, hot tea and a bath. Ahhhhhhh....

Bottom line, listen to your body and go at a pace that makes sense. Don’t let your ego make you push so hard that you end up prolonging your own recovery. Drink lots of water, and if you feel dizzy, then you might want to stop. Tell your 9Round Trainer if you’re under the weather so that they’ll know not to try and push you to your limit, like usual.

Do some light stretching afterwards and then make rest a priority afterwards! Rest is your body’s best friend even when you aren’t sick. If you are sick, then you need even more rest. A light workout can often help clear your head up and make resting a little easier later.

Take lots of Vitamin C and maybe you’ll skip getting a cold altogether this season!

Yours in health,

Heather “the Hero” Hudson