Is It A Dumb Idea To Exercise When You’re Sick?

exercising when sick

Exercising when sick — Is it good for you or does it the illness last even longer?

My cousin is a staunch believer in sweating out sickness during exercise or athletic activity. He played hockey for years, usually goalie, and he’d spend hours sweating out colds and flus under layers of gear and pads. My wife, on the other hand, won’t set foot in a gym for days if she’s not feeling well. She swears she always leaves the gym feeling twice as bad.

In this video from PictureFit, they explain that there’s a simple rule of thumb to follow when trying to decided whether working out when sick is a good idea.

“If you have symptoms above the neck, like coughing, sneezing, sore throat, or nasal congestion, you can probably still work out. If you have symptoms below the neck, like vomiting, chest congestion, aches, or fever, it’s best to skip the exercise.”

If you decide exercising when sick is a smart idea, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • reduce the weight, number of reps, number of sets, and amount of time you work out so your body can continue fighting the illness
  • avoid going to failure
  • stay hydrated and monitor how you’re feeling.
  • If at any time your symptoms get worse, STOP WORKING OUT
  • Most importantly, don’t go to the gym where people can come in contact with your germs. Just because you want to workout doesn’t mean other people have to pay by getting sick as well.

If you feel, deep down, that you probably need rest then don’t push yourself. Always listen to your gut even if it’s saying “I’M GETTING BIGGER BY THE DAY BECAUSE YOU WON’T DO CARDIO!”

It’s way better to miss a few workouts than prolonging your sickness and put yourself on the shelf for a long time.

Should You Workout When Sick?


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