Exercising is a way of life for many people and a vital part of their routine. If working out is something you enjoy, it can quickly come to a halt when you catch a cold or fall victim to the flu. In some instances, working out can improve the immune system and is good when you’re feeling sick. But sometimes being ill means activity needs to be kept to a minimum and exercising can make symptoms worse. It’s important to know when it’s safe to workout while you’re sick:
Look at Your Symptoms
Before jumping into a workout while you’re feeling under the weather, take a moment to review your systems. If your symptoms are happening from the neck up, you may be clear to work out. Symptoms from the neck up include sneezing, headache, coughing or a sore throat. Exercise can actually be helpful when experiencing these kinds of signs and clear them up. When you’re experiencing symptoms from the shoulders down, reconsider your workout. Any shortness of breath, abdominal pain or vomiting can be made worse by exercising. These kinds of symptoms require rest to start feeling better.
Avoid Intense Workouts
Working out while your sick can be potentially helpful and make you feel better, but it’s important to take it slow. Keep the exercises moderate and mild to make sure not to overexert yourself. Overdoing it can lead to feeling even worse and too much for the immune system to handle. Workouts like an easy jog or bike ride can help with symptoms and have you feeling better in no time. Low-intensity workouts and activities have the potential to boost immunity. Keeping the exercise light and outdoors will be sure to improve your health.
Don’t Spread Your Illness
When you’re sick, it’s very easy to spread your germs. Even when you’re mindful of washing your hands and disinfecting things you touch, you can still get people sick. That’s why it’s important to stay at home or outdoors while working out when you’re sick. Going for an outdoor bike ride or looking online for at-home workouts will keep you from spreading germs. If you’re sick and go to a gym, you’re putting other people at risk of catching your illness. Once your symptoms have cleared up, it’ll be safe to step back in the gym again.
Take it Slow Afterwards
Once you’re starting to feel better and your symptoms have cleared up, it’s easy to get a little too eager to jump back into things. However, when you’ve recovered for an illness, it’s important to take it slow when you start working out again. As you begin to get back into a routine, slowly reintroduce more activity. Listen to your body and be careful not to push yourself too much. Keep the workouts low intensity at first and be sure to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water is key to recovery, inside and outside of the gym.
David Jeansonne is the founder of Traffic Jam Events™, a nationally renowned automotive-marketing firm. He is also an award winning entrepreneur and business strategist. Read more of his entrepreneurship advice or check out his Twitter!