Will working up a sweat boost your immune system or make you sicker? Keep reading to learn when you should workout and when it might be best to rest, hydrate, and recover.
Have Good Gym Etiquette
In general, if going to the gym can get others sick, then stay away. That counts for coughs, sniffles, sore throats, fevers, and anything that isn’t general fatigue. Remember, one day is just one day.
That doesn’t mean you can’t workout at home when you’re sick, but try to think of others when you’ve got symptoms.
How To Workout When You’re Sick
First off, be sure to listen to your doctor’s advice when you’re sick. If they recommend avoiding any exercise, they’re likely doing that for a reason. However, if you’re cleared for exercise, low-intensity movement can help you feel better faster and recover sooner.
What counts as low-intensity exercise? Think of things like walking or an easy pace on your favorite cardio machine if you have one at home. Or, you might do a mobility circuit. My go-to is long walks outside.
The key is to keep your heart rate lower during the session. You shouldn’t be gasping for breath at any point or even struggling. And remember, low-intensity can look different for each person. Listen to your body and choose an exercise that you can keep an easy pace with.
Think of these workouts like a day at the spa. You should leave feeling restored and energized, not beat down.
The Bottom Line
We believe in training with intensity when you workout, but that doesn’t mean you need to break personal records every workout even when you’re healthy. When you’re sore, tired, or not in the mood, and you make it happen, those days are victories.
On the other hand, days when you force yourself to train when you’re sick because of an irrational fear of needing to train, are a loss. Learn to pick and choose your battles and hold yourself to a high standard. And, more often than not, it’ll lead to good health.