To Exercise or Not To Exercise When You Are Sick…

So I committed to training for a 10K. However, 3 of the 4 weeks in January, I had some form of illness. The question I had was should I continue my training or take a break. The good news is: if you are exercising on a regular basis you are less likely to get sick.  However, once you become ill follow these guidelines:

  • When symptoms are from the neck up, moderate exercise is best. Moderate means walking or an easy elliptical routine.  Lifting weights or intense running is not recommended.
  • If you are coming down with something take it easy. Strenuous exercise may make your symptoms worse or your illness last longer.
  • If your symptoms have gone below your neck such as aches and pains, swollen glands, or chest congestion you should stay home.
  • If you have a fever, you should not workout.
  • It is recommended to take two weeks off if you have the flu or a respiratory infection.  Once you have recovered, go slow. Picking up where you left off may lead to a rebound illness.  (Take it from me—being sick 3 times in January was not fun).

The benefits of exercise are great, and include improving your mood, lowering your cholesterol, and helping control your weight just to name a few.  Just  remember to always listen to your body.