Is it okay to work out if you’re sick? Whether it’s an essential part of your routine, or you really buy into the idea of “sweating it out” – does exercising when you’re sick have any benefits? And how do you know when to draw the line?

First, it’s important to listen to your body. If a cold or flu has you close to bed-ridden, or you haven’t strayed farther than 10 feet from the bathroom in 24 hours, a workout shouldn’t be your top priority. Forcing yourself to exercise could end up compromising your immune system further, or at the very least, prolonging whatever illness you’re suffering from.

Exercising When You’re Sick

If you feel like your runny nose or some chest congestion is more of a minor inconvenience, then low-impact physical activity might end up doing you some good.

What to Do

Lessen the impact of your typical workout. If you’re usually a runner, try a light jog or brisk walk instead. If you gravitate toward a heart-pumping cardio class, try some reps of body weight exercises – or even something more soothing, like yoga.

When to Stop

It’s okay to exercise just enough to feel good, but not enough to wear yourself down. Consider reducing the length of your workout if you’re under the weather as well. If you usually go for an hour, evaluate how you feel after 30-40 minutes.

At any point, if you feel like physical activity is worsening your symptoms, even if it’s a simple cough or sinus pressure, it might be a sign to call it. You can always try again when you’re feeling better.

Easing Back Into A Work Out

Once you’re on the mend, it’s important not to dial it right back up again. Your immune system may still be recovering. Use a four-day formula to slowly readjust to your normal level of physical activity. Over the course of four days, gradually ramp up your exercise by intensity and length of time.

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Call (716) 706-2112

Find a Doctor Near You
Call (716) 706-2112