The issue of working out when you are sick is a confusing one. Should you sweat it out or rest?
There are always so many different theories on working out when you are sick or when you are starting to get sick. Some people say working out pushes the cold out of your system and others say it will draw it deeper into your lungs. So which is it?
When should you not workout?
The general rule is if your symptoms are below the neck, such as coughing, body aches, fever and fatigue, then you should probably rest.
One determining factor is fever. If you are running a fever then working out can raise your internal temperature making you worse. Any temperature above 101 degrees is definitely out! Pay attention to how you feel. If you are sluggish and tired then you are just going to deplete your energy that is needed to heal your body.
Another thing to watch for is tightening in the chest. If your chest is tight, if your bronchial tubes are constricting or if you are just generally having a hard time breathing then you should not be doing something that is going to cause you to be even further out of breath. You are just putting too much pressure on your body at that point.
When should you workout?
The general rule is if your symptoms are above the neck, such as a minor sore throat, sneezing and nasal congestion, then it is probably okay to workout.
A reason to workout when your sick is if you are so used to working out that not working out for you will be more stressful than restful. That being said you need to adjust your workout for being sick. Lighten it up, don't be lifting heavy weights above your head and doing wind sprints. The best thing you can do if you really have to do a workout is go on a walk. The fresh air and sunshine could actually be beneficial as well.
Be respectful of others.
If you normally workout in a gym, it is really just common courtesy to not go in when you are sick. If you have a cold, but you feel okay to workout then choose to workout in your house or out doors away from other people. Just because you feel good enough to workout does not mean it is okay for you to get others sick.
Cut your cold time short.
#1 Rest. Remember, your body only has so much energy to dole out, so if you are doing crazy workouts you are taking some of that energy that could be going to healing your body.
#2 Relax. Reduce your stress. Stress can have a negative effect on our immune systems. So just think of reducing your stress as a necessary thing to get you well, then you may actually do it!
#3 Eat healthy and maybe more food. eating nutrient dense foods and more calories could help give your body the extra energy it needs to fight off colds, flu's or really any illness. Now that you know this, do not be concerned if you suddenly feel very hungry when you are sick.
#4 Supplement to help end this torture. Some supplements are known for helping kick colds and flu's out of your system. Talk to your doctor and see what ones are right for you. Many people rely on Vitamin C, Zinc, Garlic, Echinacea , Golden Seal and Oregano oil to name just a few.
Being sick sucks and when you like to workout it can be very hard to be smart and listen to your body when it needs rest, but it will benefit your body more in the long run. Remember this is only temporary, you will be back to kicking butt in no time at all.