Should you work out when you are ill?

It’s cold and flu season here, so I thought it might be a good time for this post.

I’m sure you know the feeling- you have a bit of a cold, are maybe coughing a little and just don’t feel quite right, but you don’t feel bad enough to just stay home and in bed. You’ve been working out regularly and built a routine that works for you, and you really don’t want to skip any workouts if you can help it. Skipping a workout when you’re still well enough to go to work would make you feel guilty, and you’d beat yourself up about it all day long.

But is it good for you to work out in that state?

The short answer to that is no. When you don’t feel well, your workout most likely won’t be the best either, because you simply don’t have the energy to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You might end up disappointed and frustrated.

You also should not exert yourself too much when you are ill, because your body needs all the energy it can get to fight the illness. If you exert yourself when you have a cold, you might find that the cold lingers much longer than if you’d just given yourself a few days of rest to get rid of it. Your health should always come first, and when you are ill you should give your body the care it needs to help it heal.

In addition to the harm that you can cause yourself by working out when you’re ill, going to the gym and spreading your germs there will likely infect a bunch of other people, and you’ll probably not make friends going around the gym coughing and sneezing either.

If you still want to stay active, what can you do?

By saying that you should not exert yourself when you’re ill, I’m not saying that you’re forced to stay in bed without moving at all for days unless your condition forces you too. If you’re well enough, you can still get in some light movement. Taking a walk outside and some light stretching can be very beneficial if you feel well enough! Just make sure to listen to your body, so that you don’t push it beyond what’s good for it until you’re well again!

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