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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Should You Workout While Sick?


photo by chickenlump

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Well, this is the time of year when everyone gets sick to some degree. While you won't get a cold from going out in the cold, you do have a much greater chance of catching one from your co-workers or children because more time is spent indoors during the colder months. If you do come down with a case of the sniffles, should you continue with your workout even though you feel lousy or just skip it until you feel better?

The usual advice given is this: If the symptoms are above the neck, i.e runny nose, sinus congestion, sore throat, etc., then it's OK to workout. If the symptoms are below the neck, i.e. chest congestion, stomach problems, fever, chills, then skip the workout and focus on getting better. With most minor respiratory illnesses (above the neck symptoms), exercise can actually relieve the symptoms if you can overcome the initial lousy feelings and do it. My suggestion is to do your usual workout even if you do it at a lower intensity.

Another thing to remember, for those who exercise at a gym or other public facility, is to consider other gym-goers. Even though your symptoms are minor, you may want to consider an alternative workout to avoid spreading your infection.

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