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Exercise when you are sick?

I'm looking through the web trying to figure this one out. If you have no fever or a very slight fever and suspect a mild upper respiratory infection (like a common cold), is it ok to work out?

Sat. Nov 11, 6:59pm

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NOT a good idea!

You shouldn't work out while you are sick because it puts extra stress on your body.

Although it really sucks, take the day off and let your body rest and get well before working out again, or you may prolong your illness!

For me, I find that taking echinecea right when I start feeling sick seems to help--that as welll as drinking lots of water and orange juice (for the vitamin C).

Of course, I'm not a doctor, but maybe this will help!

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 7:31 PM

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yes make sure to consult your doctor. Or Google- which is just as likely to be accurate!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 7:38 PM

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No, it's not okay to work out. Exercise will push the infection or virus through your system faster than your body is meant to handle it - you will end up way sicker. Think dehydration, convulsions, vomiting, messing your pants, fainting, etc.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 8:56 PM

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I had a friend who had a cold, took an aerobics class, and ended up in hospital on a drip. Viruses tend to dehydrate you, and add that to exercise, and you could end up very sick.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 9:40 PM

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I've heard that it is ok to work out if your cold is just a head cold, not to work out if it is a lower respiratory infection, like bronchitis. Having said that, I mainly agree with the other posters. When you are sick, take that time to be good to yourself. REST. And besides, no one at the gym wants what you have.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 10:14 PM

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Duh, one should never workout when sick. When your sick what your body needs is rest. Would you workout with a mirgraine?

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 10:57 PM

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Not the OP, but...I do actually workout at the onset of a migraine. No, exercise doesn't help, but it takes up to 2 hours for the pills to kick in and figure what the hell, I already feel like crap, working out won't make me more miserable.

But the flu or anything along those lines? No way. It's totally incapacitating.

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 11:05 PM

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i've read that if all your symptoms are above your neck, it's safe to exercise. just make sure to stay hydrated and maybe take it easy on yourself. if you have symptoms in your torso or throughout your body, you need rest. listen to your body, be cautious, and you will get better, with or without exercise. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 2:22 AM

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Good question, and one I struggle with all the time. It makes sense that your body needs rest and time to recuperate, but what is the cut off? I mean, sometimes a cold can linger 2-3 weeks! If you get a few good colds every winter, than that could be nearly 3 months of not exercising. So after the first few days when you're left with a simple stuffy nose, or sinus headaches, or sore throat, is it really that bad to get some exercise?

Personally, if am not too sick to go about my daily routine, I usually exercise even with a cold. If I am so sick that I have to stay in bed or I am vomiting or something like that, than I don't.

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 10:48 AM

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I more or less agree with the masses that high fever and bed stricken doesn;t equate to a good work out. HOWEVER, i have found that if i catch myself feeling as though something is coming on, but have not hit the virus full cycle, the first thing i do is go to the gym.

When i feel any sickness coming on, i go straight to the gym, sweat for a good hour, drink a huge glass of orange juice (for the Vitamin C, good for the immune) and then take a bath to relieve everything i have just done. More often than not this preventive method seems to fight away the sickness.


Friday, December 15, 2006, 3:01 AM

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5 minute rule

I kind of follow the 5 minute rule. If I'm feeling sick and drained I will get on my elliptical for 5 min, if after that 5 min I'm not feeling a lot more energy yet and still feel drained I'm done, my body needs the rest.

Friday, December 15, 2006, 7:55 AM

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i do exactly what the above poster says. i also listen to my body - if i am too sick to go to work, then i'm too sick to go to the gym. if i can make it through work but it drains me, i am still too sick for the gym. if i can make it through work and still have energy to do evening chores, then i can do a partial workout. but i don't go back to my 100% workout until i feel like 100%

i disagree with the "symptoms only above the neck" argument however, there are plenty of awful things only above the neck - a brain tumor being one of them.

Sunday, December 17, 2006, 2:55 PM

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Workout while sick

Plano Personal Trainer Paul recommends that if you're able to get up and moving, then you should adjust your workout to avoid overexerting your body. However, if you're limited to the bed, you shouldn't exercise.

I think the key is to just ratchet back your workouts to a minimal level - keep moving but do it in a way that doesn't overwork your system.

The link for his blog post on this topic is below.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 9:10 AM

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