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At Home Workout – Should I Workout if I’m Sick?

This is a question I get fairly often and found myself facing when I woke up with a killer cold last week.

Here are three easy guidelines for working out when you’re sick:

1. Is the cold in your head or in your chest?

If it’s just in your head, (meaning, stuffy nose, maybe a little sinus headache but no chest congestion) then it’s still ok to workout. Once the cold hits your chest, it’s time to see the doctor. Pushing yourself too hard in this state could result in a serious lung infection. It’s better to skip a few days of exercise and recover than over do it and end up with a longer term problem.

2. What’s your body saying?

Always remember that your body knows best. Often when you get sick, it’s your body’s way of slowing you down since you won’t do it voluntarily. Ever notice how you get sick at the most inopportune times? Like right in the middle of a busy time at work? A major project? A family crisis? It’s probably because you need to rest. So tune into your body. If you feel up to a workout, have some energy and giving it a go feels like a good choice-go for it. Just stay tuned in during the workout also. No one is judging you if you decide half way through to call it quits. Likewise, sometimes you won’t know until you give it a try-you may even feel better afterwards.

If you are attempting a workout, keep the intensity light to moderate.

3. “But I heard exercise boosts your immune system.”

I’ll let a medical professional field this one. “Moderate exercise won’t prolong your illness or make your symptoms worse, but it may not shorten them, either. One possible benefit of exercising with a cold: If you’re generally well-hydrated, a workout can break up congestion,” notes Leah Mooshil Durst, MD, medical director of the Friend Family Health Center, Inc., and clinical associate at the University of Chicago. “However, your congestion could worsen if you’re dehydrated.”

And here’s a bonus tip for you:

This is 100% my opinion, by the way-the BEST cold remedy ever is sleep.  Refer back to tip #2-it’s what your body wants.  On more than one occasion I’ve felt a cold coming on, went to bed early and felt way better the next day.

What’s your favorite go-to cold remedy?  Share it in the comments and let’s stay healthy, people!

At Home Workout – Should I Workout if I’m Sick?